The federal health minister, Mr Greg Hunt, has called for a plan to end avoidable blindness in Indigenous communities.
Addressing a parliamentary event on 13 September organised by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, Glaucoma Australia and Specsavers to raise awareness about glaucoma, Mr Hunt praised the collaborative efforts of the ophthalmology and optometry sectors to deliver the most effective and efficient eye care possible.
Mr Hunt stressed the importance of addressing eye-health inequalities in Indigenous communities and asked RANZCO to develop a national plan to eradicate avoidable blindness, including treatable eye diseases such as glaucoma, in those communities.
He said glaucoma affects 300,000 Australians, with that number expected to rise to 400,000 by 2025. However, around half of cases of glaucoma remain undiagnosed. Without diagnosis and management, people can suffer irreversible vision loss, he pointed out.
RANZCO, Glaucoma Australia and Specsavers came together in Canberra to raise awareness about glaucoma and remind people about the importance of having regular eye examinations.
MPs and government ministers were told that if a person is identified at their eye examination as being at higher risk of developing glaucoma, an optometrist can examine the eye to see any possible signs for glaucoma, meaning glaucoma development can be identified early and a patient can be referred
Read More >