To increase access to care for cataract patients in Sweden, it was decided, starting in 1992, that all cataract patients listed for surgery and with priority should have their cataract extraction performed within three months. To evaluate the effect of this waiting time guarantee, a National Cataract Register (NCR) was initiated in late 1991. In 1992, 81% of all cataract extractions performed in Sweden were reported to the NCR; in 1993 this figure was 92%. Reasons for this high participation ratio are discussed. In 1993, 74.4% (range between different clinics, 40-99%) of the patients with priority had their operation performed within three months. Great variation in visual acuity and age was found in patients with priority among the different surgical units.