The Eye Care Project: Amsterdam Eye Care in the Right Place

From January 2024, Zeker Zicht, Huisarts+Plus, S.A.G, OLVG, Zilveren Kruis, and general practitioners from the Amsterdam region will join forces for the project "Amsterdam Eye Care in the Right Place". The main goal of this project is to offer high-quality eye care within a reasonable period of time for non-acute/simple eye problems that are normally treated by the general practitioner.

For simple eye problems, the general practitioner can directly refer patients via Zorgdomein => Medisch specialistische zorg => Oogheelkunde => Huisartspluspunt => Verwijsafspraak adviesconsult (locatie Osdorp) to Zeker Zicht, with a guaranteed appointment within 5 days. This prevents long waiting times for an appointment with the ophthalmologist (average 12 weeks).

The costs of these eye examinations, requested by the general practitioner, are covered by the patient's basic package. There are no additional costs and no deductible. After the examination, the general practitioner receives a report with a recommendation for referral to the ophthalmologist or another specialist.

Why this innovative care program?

In recent years, the number of patients with eye conditions visiting the general practitioner has increased significantly. However, the eye care capabilities and skills of general practitioners vary and are often limited. Currently, many of these patients are referred to the ophthalmologist by the general practitioner, which results in long waiting lists in the hospital and significant waiting times for the patient. However, many of these cases can be treated well by an experienced optometrist at Zeker Zicht. This avoids unnecessary (expensive) hospital visits and contributes to maintaining affordable and accessible care.

This initiative aims to provide high-quality care in the vicinity for patients with eye complaints, with a short access time, without claiming the patient's deductible. For general practitioners, this means a new possibility for referral in the first line, with the general practitioner retaining control of the care process. This gives the ophthalmologist more space to focus on specialized eye care. In addition, secondary referrals to the second line are much more targeted, because the optometrist has already assessed, examined, and (pre)treated the patient.

The project is expected to benefit both patients and the healthcare system as a whole. Patients will benefit from faster access to high-quality eye care, while the healthcare system will benefit from reduced costs and improved efficiency.

Here are some of the specific benefits of the project:

  • Faster access to care: Patients can receive an appointment with an optometrist within 5 days of being referred by their general practitioner. This is significantly faster than the average waiting time of 12 weeks for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
  • High-quality care: Optometrists at Zeker Zicht are experienced and qualified professionals who can provide high-quality eye care. They can diagnose and treat a wide range of eye problems, including:
    • Vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism
    • Dry eye
    • Redness and irritation of the eyes
    • Eye infections
    • Cataracts
    • Glaucoma
  • Affordable care: The costs of eye examinations under this project are covered by the patient's basic insurance package. There are no additional costs or deductibles.
  • Improved efficiency: The project will help to reduce the workload of ophthalmologists, freeing them up to focus on more complex cases.

The Eye Care Project is a promising new initiative that has the potential to improve the quality and accessibility of eye care for patients in Amsterdam.