The Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) Van, which acts as Australia’s first mobile ophthalmic treatment facility operating to combat avoidable blindness in remote and vulnerable communities, has partnered with St John Ambulance Queensland to bolster state-of-the-art outpatient facilities and outreach programs.
Founded in 2013, the IDEAS Van is a fully equipped ophthalmic treatment facility, which delivers bulk-billed treatment through visiting and local ophthalmologists and optometrists in Queensland and Victoria.
This outstanding facility will make it possible for more ophthalmologists to bring their expertise to people that are marginalised due to the tyranny of distance and access
“The last eight years have been spent refining operations of our mobile outpatient facility, the first of its kind in Australia. It has been an extraordinary journey, with over 7,000 patients treated, mostly complex cases, receiving their specialist services by our world class ophthalmologists, completely bulk-billed to Medicare with no out of pocket expenses,” said Lyndall De Marco, IDEAS Van founding CEO.
“For decades St John Ambulance, a charitable, non-profit, humanitarian organisation, has helped save countless lives and address isolation and disadvantage in our community. It is the perfect new home for the IDEAS Van to continue its celebrated work and extend its outreach program to regional areas.”
Stephen Porter, CEO St John’s Queensland, acknowledged the far-reaching success of the IDEAS Van and expressed his delight for the opportunities to emerge from the new partnership.
“St John Ambulance is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all those in regional areas, with a renewed focus on resilience, wellbeing and community. This outstanding facility will make it possible for more ophthalmologists to bring their expertise to people that are marginalised due to the tyranny of distance and access. It will enable Australia’s most vulnerable communities to address the issue of avoidable blindness,” said Mr Porter.