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ICO Reports Global Shortfall in the Number of Ophthalmologists

Posted on June 1, 2012
Topic: Advocacy/Vision 2020, ICO Programs and Initiatives, Journal/Publication

Despite revealing there are more than 200,000 ophthalmologists worldwide, a 2010 International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) survey showed a serious global shortfall.  The report, published in the June 2012 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO), predicts that the shortfall of ophthalmologists will dramatically impact both developing and developed countries in the years to come, particularly considering the aging population.

"There is a critical lack of ophthalmologists in developing countries, and although the number of ophthalmologists in high-income countries is increasing, the population aged 60+ is growing more than twice as fast as the number of ophthalmologists," said Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD, ICO Director for Advocacy.

"Therefore, the gap between need and supply is widening in both developing and developed countries," Dr. Resnikoff continued.

A table illustrating the results from the BJO article, The number of ophthalmologists in practice and in training worldwide: a growing gap despite more than 200,000 practitioners, is available on the ICO website, icoph.org/ophthalmologists-worldwide.html.

The ICO plans to continue tracking ophthalmic population trends.  Society leaders are asked to update their country's information on a yearly basis.  Updates may be made by clicking on the update button and logging in to the ICO website.  

The BJO report was authored by ICO Director for Advocacy Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD;  ICO Chief Executive Officer William Felch; Tina-Marie Gauthier; and ICO President Bruce Spivey, MD, MS, Med.

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