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Improving access to eye care services for Aboriginal patients

According to the National Indigenous Eye Health Survey, Aboriginal children have better vision than non-Aboriginal children, but by the time they are adults they are six times more likely to experience blindness. 94% of vision loss for Aboriginal patients is preventable or treatable, where accessible eye care services are available.

Stakeholders from across the eye care sector were invited to come together at the NSW Rural Doctors Network’s Sydney office on Tuesday 26 July to commence the first of many discussions about improving access to eye care services for Aboriginal patients in NSW and the ACT. Representatives from the Commonwealth Department of Health, Optometry Australia’s NSW Branch, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and outreach optometry and ophthalmology representatives were present. The group agreed there is a need to support sustainable access to eye care services for Aboriginal patients. Importantly, many of the organisations present offered to provide advocacy, health promotion and other skills to enhance access to eye care services for Aboriginal patients where a local need is identified. Participants also agreed that the role of community controlled health service delivery should be central to any needs assessment or co-ordination planning.

Last updated: November 27, 2018

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RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
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