Trainee ophthalmologists' opinions on ways to improve cataract surgical rate
Objective: To know the opinions of trainee ophthalmologists on ways to improve cataract surgical rate (CSR) with a view to having insight into actions that should be of high priority for achieving this improvement. Methods: A survey of 27 trainee ophthalmologists using structured self-administered questionnaire. Results: Most trainees had a positive view about actions towards raising CSR: Structured ophthalmic training- 25 (92.6%), monthly cataract camps by eye departments in teaching hospitals- 21 (77.8%), rural allowance for ophthalmologists- 26 (96.3%) and welfare package for indigent cataract patients- 21 (77.8%). Other actions included local production of cataract consumables- 22 (81.5%), duty-free importation of ophthalmic materials- 23 (85.2%), employment of ophthalmologists in the services of the state governments- 24 (88.9%) and local governments- 20 (74.1%), effective primary eye care- 25 (92.6%) and marketing of cataract surgical services- 23 (85.2%). However, only 16 (59.3%) trainees wanted first ladies (wives of the president, governors and local government chairmen) to adopt cataract elimination as pet projects, and 24 (88.9%) opposed the introduction of cataract surgeons. Conclusion: Most trainees had positive perceptions about most actions that can raise CSR. However, top-priority actions to improve CSR were attractive rural allowance, structured training, resource availability, cost reduction and marketing of cataract surgical services. Multiple actions might be necessary to raise CSR.