Introduction and objective:
Local Government Units (LGUs) in Poland may develop health policy programs on different health conditions according to the rules and templates defined by the Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System (AHTATS). This study aimed to analyze health policy programs on eye health implemented by LGUs in Poland between 2015 and 2023.

Material and methods:
This is a retrospective analysis of data on health policy programs on eye health implemented by LGUs in Poland from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2023. Data were received from the public information and announcements published by the AHTATS. Full texts of health policy programs on eye health were with particular focus on the target population, type of intervention, timeline, budget, and characteristics of LGU.

Between 2015 and 2023, a total of 1568 health policy programs were submitted to AHTATS by LGUs, of which only 41 (2.6%) programs addressed eye health. Health policy programs on eye health were prepared by 4 of 16 voivodeships, 2 of 314 poviats, and 30 of 2477 communes. Only 3 of 1464 (0.2%) of rural communes prepared health policy programs on eye health. Program duration varied from 24 to 72 months, whereas 53.7% of programs were planned for 36 months. Only 33 programs were rated positively by ATHATS and could be implemented. Most of the programs (85.4%; n=35) were targeted at primary school children and 78% (n=32) also included parents and caregivers. Out of 41 programs, 92.7% included secondary prevention interventions. Visual acuity test was the most common eye test (n=34; 82.9%) offered within the eye health programs implemented by LGUs.

This study revealed significant gaps in the implementation of health policy programs on eye health implemented by LGUs in Poland, especially in rural areas.

Ramke J, Ah Tong BA, Stern J, et al. Defining eye health for everyone. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2022;42(1):1–3.
Burton MJ, Ramke J, Marques AP, et al. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020. Lancet Glob Health. 2021;9(4):e489-e551.–....
Swenor BK, Ehrlich JR. Ageing and vision loss: looking to the future. Lancet Glob Health. 2021;9(4):e385-e386.–....
GBD 2019 Blindness and Vision Impairment Collaborators; Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study. Causes of blindness and vision impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years, and prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to VISION 2020: the Right to Sight: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Glob Health. 2021;9(2):e144-e160.–....
Trott M, Smith L, Veronese N, et al. Eye disease and mortality, cognition, disease, and modifiable risk factors: an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational studies. Eye (Lond). 2022;36(2):369–378.
Kamińska A, Pinkas J, Tyszko P, et al. Eye Care Behaviors among Adults in Poland: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023;20(4):3590.
Atowa UC, Wajuihian SO, Hansraj R. A review of paediatric vision screening protocols and guidelines. Int J Ophthalmol. 2019;12(7):1194–1201.
Gallagher S, Clasing J, Hall E, et al. Eye Health, COVID-19, and the Occupational Health Professional: Round Table. Workplace Health Saf. 2021;69(8):352–358.
Solomon SD, Shoge RY, Ervin AM, et al. Improving Access to Eye Care: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Ophthalmology. 2022;129(10):e114-e126.
World Health Organization (WHO). Package of eye care interventions. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Accesses May 06, 2024. Available online:
Sagan A, Panteli D, Borkowski W, et al. Poland health system review. Health Syst Transit. 2011;13(8):1–193.
Kurowska P, Królak A, Giermaziak W. Health policy programs realised in Poland in 2016–2017. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2018;69(2):209–217.
Augustynowicz A, Borowska M, Lewtak K, et al. Financing of Immunization Programs by Local Government Units in Poland as an Element of Health Policy. Vaccines (Basel). 2021;10(1):28.
Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Tariff System (AHTATS). Health policy programmes. Accesses April 04, 2024. Available online:
Cianciara D, Piotrowicz M, Urban E, et al. Health policy programmes implemented by local governments – an inside perspective. Hygeia Public Health. 2019;54(2):97–104.
Augustynowicz A, Czerw A, Borowska M, et al. Prevention of overweight and obesity undertaken by local government units in Poland. Health Policy. 2019;123(5):499–502.
Augustynowicz A, Czerw A, Kowalska M, et al. Preventive healthcare and health promotion in local governments based on the example of health policy programmes concerned with cardiovascular diseases implemented in Poland in 2009–2014. Kardiol Pol. 2017;75(6):596–604.
Hicks PM, Kang L, Armstrong ML, et al. A scoping review of patients’ barriers to eye care for glaucoma and keratitis. Surv Ophthalmol. 2023;68(4):567–577.
Statistics of Poland. Administrative division of Poland. Access April 04, 2024. Available online:
Dawkins B, Renwick C, Ensor T, et al. What factors affect patients’ ability to access healthcare? An overview of systematic reviews. Trop Med Int Health. 2021;26(10):1177–1188.
Mettla AL, Marmamula S, Khanna RC. Children’s eye health programmes: Successful strategies and challenges. Community Eye Health. 2017;30(98):S28-S30.
Wong TY, Sun J, Kawasaki R, et al. Guidelines on Diabetic Eye Care: The International Council of Ophthalmology Recommendations for Screening, Follow-up, Referral, and Treatment Based on Resource Settings. Ophthalmology. 2018;125(10):1608–1622.
Thirunavukarasu AJ, Hassan R, Limonard A, et al. Accuracy and reliability of self-administered visual acuity tests: Systematic review of pragmatic trials. PLoS One. 2023;18(6):e0281847.
Vujosevic S, Aldington SJ, Silva P, et al. Screening for diabetic retinopathy: new perspectives and challenges. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2020;8(4):337–347.–....
Bechange S, Buttan S. Effectiveness of community-based eye care: process and considerations. Lancet Glob Health. 2022;10(4):e451-e452.–....
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top