Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Health Gabrielle Williams MP has announced that thousands of residents across Bass Coast, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Hepburn, Moira and Whittlesea will benefit from the government funded Vision Initiative eye health program.
At a launch in South Morang on Tuesday 3 October, Ms. Williams said the Vision Initiative would be rolled out to a further six Victorian local government areas following the success of the eye health program in eight other regions since 2012.
According to the most recent Victorian Population Health Survey, Bass Coast, Central Goldfields, Glenelg, Hepburn, Moira and Whittlesea have high proportions of people who have never had an eye examination placing their sight at increased risk.
Ms. Williams said she was delighted the Vision Initiative was extending to new areas, as it would encourage more Victorians to get their eyes tested and save their sight.
Managed by Vision 2020 Australia on behalf of the Victorian government, the Vision Initiative aims to prevent avoidable blindness and vision loss through working with health providers in local areas to create better identification and referral of people at risk of eye disease and those affected by sight loss.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Carla Northam, said: “With approximately 90 per cent of blindness and vision impairment being preventable or treatable, if detected early, it’s critical that we work together to identify those at risk of eye disease and link them with local eye health services.
“At a local level we work with primary health networks, primary care partnerships and local councils to deliver initiatives to primary health providers and people at risk of eye disease in each community. We also work with state-level organisations like Diabetes Victoria, Australian College of Optometry and Vision Australia to help roll out these initiatives,” Ms. Northam said.
“With our aging population and our increasing rates of diabetes, it’s time we worked together to make eye health a priority for all Victorians,” said Ms. Northam.