14th NRHC Recommendation

(modified from 2015 NRHC recommendation)
With over 90% of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities being preventable or treatable, delegates recommend that the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments jointly fund an integrated strategy to Close the Gap for vision by 2020. The strategy should support implementation of the policy framework "Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision" endorsed by the eye health and vision sector and should include:
• increased funding for (bulk billed) visiting optometry and ophthalmology services in areas of need;
• programs for statewide and regional systems level co-ordination and service level co-ordination with community control;
• nationally consistent subsidised spectacles schemes aligned with standardised principles; and
• continued funding to support monitoring, reporting and national oversight of the strategy.

Recommendation Type: 
Emerging Theme: 

Comments

Good vision is a key enabler for education, employment, community participation and leadership and self management of chronic disease.

We are at risk of creating recommendations for the various diseases that inequitably affect remote and indigenous populations (ear health, eye health, oral health, skin health, acute rheumatic fever, childhood anaemia, growth faltering...and others. This risks medicalising the response and distracting us all from fiercely addressing the underlying determinants. I suggest a variation to invest in the first 1000 days - holistic support for mothers and babies and wider than health (housing, safety, attachment, bonding, development and play etc)