Media Advisory - Staggering Cost of Vision Loss Underscores Urgent Need for National Vision Health Plan



    - Results of landmark study to be released on June 23 -

    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ -

    WHAT: CNIB and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) will unveil
the details and recommendations of a landmark study that measures the true
cost of vision loss in Canada and its impact on governments, employers and all
Canadians.
    The extensive study highlights the most definitive data available about
vision loss in Canada, and releases alarming findings about what all sectors
of Canadian society are paying. The study is also the first to measure lost
wellbeing due to vision loss, attaching a dollar value to factors such as
reduced quality of life.

    
    WHEN:  Tuesday, June 23, 2009
           11:15 a.m. - Press conference
           11:45 a.m. - Q&A

    WHERE: The Westin Harbour Castle, Dockside 5
           1 Harbour Square, Toronto
    

    WHY: Every 12 minutes in Canada, someone develops significant vision
loss. Vision loss has the highest direct healthcare costs of any disease
category in Canada and costs Canadians much more than diabetes, all cancers
and cardiovascular disease. These costs are expected to increase dramatically
in the next 25 years as the population ages. Despite these troubling
statistics, Canada has yet to develop and implement a national vision health
plan despite making a commitment to the World Health Organization in 2003 to
do so.
    Vision loss can be prevented, treated and rehabilitated but unless action
is taken immediately, its price tag and impact on public health will only get
worse. The findings of this research provide a solid foundation of evidence
for definitive action.

    
    WHO:
     -  John Rafferty, President and CEO, CNIB
     -  Dr. Keith Gordon, Vice-President, Research and Service Development,
        CNIB
     -  Dr. Alan Cruess, Head, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual
        Sciences, Dalhousie University
     -  Dr. Lorne Bellan, President, Canadian Ophthalmological Society
     -  Alida Miletic, Toronto resident living with vision loss

    A detailed executive summary of the study will be made available to
    media.
    

    About CNIB

    CNIB is a nationwide, community-based, registered charity committed to
public education, research and the vision health of all Canadians. CNIB
provides the services and support necessary to enjoy a good quality of life
while living with vision loss. For more information, please visit www.cnib.ca.

    About COS

    The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the national specialty
society representing eye physicians and surgeons whose mission is to assure
the provision of comprehensive eye care to all Canadians. www.eyesite.ca





For further information:

For further information: to confirm your attendance or to arrange
interviews for June 23, please contact: Ellen Woodger, (416) 483-2358; Yeena
Peng, CNIB, (416) 486-2500 ext. 8355

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