The value of chil­dren’s vi­sion

The Oban Times - - News - with John Wal­lace

It feels as though sum­mer has yet to be­gin and the shops are full of back to school of­fers. Con­sid­er­able time has been spent on prime time tele­vi­sion look­ing at the mer­its of the low­est price school uni­forms. Queues formed well be­fore open­ing time out­side at least one lo­cal su­per­mar­ket as moth­ers tried to clothe their off­spring in low cost uni­forms. Ev­ery­where we look advertising is pro­mot­ing low cost this or that. On the tele­vi­sion last night were im­ages of farm­ers buy­ing up bot­tled milk in a ma­jor su­per­mar­ket at a re­tail cost well be­low ac­tual pro­duc­tion cost. At no point was any men­tion made of the value of the goods or ser­vices pro­vided. We have be­come a na­tion that knows the price of ev­ery­thing and the value of noth­ing.

My dog has been ill re­cently and has had to have spe­cial­ist in­ves­ti­ga­tions and in­ten­sive treat­ment. The vets’ bills have run into sev­eral thou­sand pounds. Thank­fully the dog is in­sured. It is only when you see an itemised bill list­ing all the pro­ce­dures car­ried out and their as­so­ci­ated costs that it is truly brought home … health care is ex­pen­sive. Not only are the drugs ex­pen­sive but so is pro­fes­sional time. Fail­ure to at­tend for an ap­point­ment is en­demic through­out the NHS. The cost to the NHS of a missed ap­point­ment is well over £100. Yet pa­tients per­sis­tently fail to at­tend for ap­point­ments. Their ap­point­ment is free so it has no per­ceived value.

In many ways the same can be said for our at­ti­tudes to chil­dren eye-care. It is free to the child yet par­ents sel­dom think about the im­por­tance of their child see­ing well. The price for ig­nor­ing our chil­dren’s eye­care can be very high. Poor per­for­mance at school and the fail­ure to get a qual­ity start in life!

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