The federal government has allocated $2 million to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with easier access to affordable prescription glasses.
Health minister Mr Greg Hunt said the investment would allow Vision 2020 Australia to work with state and territory governments to streamline, standardise and improve their schemes that provide subsidised glasses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘Current arrangements can make it difficult to obtain affordable glasses’
“There are inconsistencies in current arrangements which can make it difficult for many of our these people to get affordable glasses,” Mr Hunt said.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have three times the rate of vision impairment and blindness as compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
“That is totally unacceptable, especially when almost two-thirds of impaired eyesight can be corrected by prescription glasses.”
Indigenous health minister Mr Ken Wyatt said introducing a nationally-consistent system to simplify and ensure better access to affordable glasses would significantly improve people’s vision and overall quality of life.
‘Significant barrier to education and employment’
“Not only does poor vision adversely affect a person’s general wellbeing, it can be a significant barrier to education and employment, and can restrict a person’s mobility and social interaction,” Mr Wyatt said.
“The cost of prescription glasses often deters Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from visiting an optometrist to
Read More >