Eye healthThe National Indigenous Eye Health Survey, published by the University of Melbourne in 2008, found that Aboriginal people over age 40 have six times the rate of blindness than other Australians. In Victoria, this vision loss is predominantly caused by Refractive Error, Cataract or Diabetes.
Victorian Aboriginal Eye Heath InitiativesIn November 2009, The Victorian Department of Health established three projects to address Aboriginal eye health including:
- A Statewide Eye Health Project Officer at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) to facilitate improved access to eye care for Aboriginal Victorians, facilitate community awareness programs around the importance of eye health, and build the capacity of the Aboriginal health workforce
- A Patient Pathways Coordinator at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital to establish referral pathways for Aboriginal patients, and reduce barriers to tertiary care
- The Victorian Aboriginal Spectacle Subsidy Scheme, delivered by the Australian College of Optometry, that allows Aboriginal Victorians to access a specifically designed pair of frames along with prescribed lens for a patient contribution of $10
Victorian Advisory Council on Koori Health (VACKH) Eye Health SubcommitteeThe VACKH is a tripartite forum between VACCHO, the Victorian Department of Health and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to enable collaborative work to improve the health outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.
In 2010, the VACKH established an Aboriginal Eye Health Subcommittee to provide expert, technical and policy advice to the VACKH in relation to eye health. The VACKH Eye Health Subcommittee oversees three projects under Victorian Aboriginal Eye Health Initiative described above. The membership of the VACKH Eye Health Subcommittee includes experts in the area of eye health from peak bodies, universities and eye health services.The Victorian Department of Health provides the secretariat to the VACKH Eye Health Subcommittee.
Evaluation of the Victorian Aboriginal SpectacleSubsidy SchemeIn July 2012, the Department of Health completed an evaluation of the Victorian Aboriginal Spectacle Subsidy Scheme. The evaluation was conducted in consultation with the VACKH Eye Health Subcommittee and key stakeholders in eye health.
The Evaluation Report was endorsed by the VACKH Eye Health Subcommittee in July 2012 and by the VACKH in November 2012. A copy of the report can be found below.Victorian Aboriginal Spectacle Subsidy Scheme Evaluation Report 2012