The fees paid by the Scottish Government to optometrists for carrying out NHS-funded eye examinations will increase by 3% - helping to ensure everyone can continue to access high quality eye care.

Scotland became the only UK nation to introduce free universal NHS-funded eye examinations in 2006 and, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2018-19, a record 2.3 million people had their eyes examined by an optometrist under this service.

This increase will be backdated to include all General Ophthalmic Services (GOS) eye examinations, which provide both a sight test and an eye health check, undertaken from 1 April 2021.

The introduction of free universal NHS-funded eye examinations sets Scotland apart from the UK and is one of the many success stories in Scotland.


Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:

“I welcome this announcement of a 3% increase. This is a significant development for eye care and shows that we care about free healthcare, across the board.

“I am excited for many people across Scotland to get the benefits of the free eye care, and to thank everyone who works in the sector. Your work does not go unnoticed!

“Even when you think your vision is fine, it is still very important to get your eye examined regularly. This is because it can help detect other health problems and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.”