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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Optician Unit

Optician Unit

A survey made after a year's work by this unit showed that the following work was performed for New Zealanders: refractions, page 686 849; spectacles supplied, 529; hospital prescriptions dispensed, 228; referred for ophthalmological examination, 28; repairs and replacements, 98; other attendances, 132—a total of 1345 cases. In addition, 48 British troops were attended. The unit had been attached to MDSs, the CCS, 1 General Hospital, and Advanced Base. It was considered that visual disabilities often became aggravated in Italy. Repairs and replacements were not heavy and it was thought that the average soldier took care of his spectacles. Equipment was sent from New Zealand. The specially designed vans brought from New Zealand admirably suited the peculiar requirements for refractive and optical work—cleanliness and freedom from dust, permanency of fitting machinery and instruments, darkness for ophthalmoscopy and retinoscopy by means of window blinds, standard illumination for visual acuity and electrical equipment to give the required voltages for different instruments. The OC said that to have fulfilled these requirements under field conditions by any other means would have proved well-nigh impossible. There can be no doubt that the unit did very good work of great value to the force.