Scotland Leads the World in Free Eyecare

Scotland is leading the world by providing free eye care to everybody, with a service which is second to none.   

Free, more comprehensive, NHS eye examinations for all were introduced in 2006 to ensure that all Scots would have their eyes tested by a professional optometrist free of charge in hundreds of locations across the country.  This was the result of health initiatives agreed between Optometry Scotland (OS) and the Scottish Government.

Optometrists have been able to take some of the strain away from ophthalmologists and GP’s surgeries as the first point of contact for people experiencing problems with their vision or any other eye related issues. If the condition merits a visit to an ophthalmologist, the optometrists will advise the patient, which ultimately saves patients time, while freeing up ophthalmologists and GP’s to see other patients.

OS and its members, all over Scotland, are responsible for making sure the patient comes first and that Scotland keeps on leading the way in eye care across the globe.

As an independent body OS relies on voluntary levies from its membership, which is made up of a number of independent and multiple optometrist practices throughout Scotland.

Other achievements by Optometry Scotland include negotiating a £1 million pound training grant and two equipment grants (£8,000 per practice in 2006 and £10,000 per practice in 2008).

OS Chairman, Gill Syme commented: “We are very proud to represent Scotland’s optometrists and the various achievements made by Optometry Scotland, including the free eye tests and grants ensure that Scotland’s eye care system is the envy of the rest of the world. Optometry Scotland and our members have always put our patients first and we will continue to do so for as long as there is funding available.

The voluntary subscription fees are low; a full time practice can become member of Optometry Scotland for only £67 per month which is less than the cost of two eye examinations. For individual optometrists and dispensing opticians the cost is only £5 per month but by becoming involved they can ensure that Scotland continues to lead the way.”


Contact: Gavin Nicholson
Phone: 0131 557 8885