The Ministry of Health in New Zealand has launched a year long project aimed at reducing waiting times and improving care for people with eye conditions.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Andrew Simpson said the Ministry, in partnership with the Ophthalmology Service Improvement Expert Advisory Group, will run workshops and give extra support to District Health Boards (DHBs) to help them offer the best eye care possible in a timely way.
The Ophthalmology Quality Improvement Collaborative will encourage DHBs to share successful ways to improve ophthalmology services and implement recently released guidelines for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma referrals.
The guidelines, launched in 2018 by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), represent best practice for community management, referral and treatment of people with glaucoma and AMD, which have the highest demands for care and the greatest risk of causing blindness.
“Our population is ageing and more people are developing chronic eye conditions, which will continue to put pressure on our ophthalmology services, so it is imperative that we support DHBs to make changes now so that services are sustainable into the future,” said Dr Simpson.