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Cataracts: Health Services

Health written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Labour, Holborn and St Pancras

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been refused cataract treatment since the changes to eligibility criteria.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department does not set eligibility criteria for cataract surgery. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are responsible for commissioning services, taking into account the available evidence and the needs of the local population. PCTs are required to make decisions on the funding of drugs and treatments rationally, and following proper consideration of the evidence. If a PCT decides to prioritise funding for alternative drugs or treatments, it should be able to explain its decision and rationale. We have been clear that this should not lead to any blanket bans on procedures, and local processes should ensure eligibility criteria for procedures can take account of individuals' health care circumstances.

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