The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) has made a submission to the NSW Government parliamentary inquiry into health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural and remote NSW.
The submission comes in response to the minimal public eye clinic services in regional NSW, despite such services being eligible for public hospital funding. This lack of access results in delayed treatment, increasing the likelihood of permanent vision impairment or loss among patients.
The submission comes in response to the minimal public eye clinic services in regional NSW, despite such services being eligible for public hospital funding
In advocating for better service provision for people living in rural, regional and remote NSW, RANZCO is calling on the NSW Government to:
- Mandate eye outpatient delivery in all Districts with public reporting of waitlist data,
- Develop a centrally administered eReferral portal,
- Develop KPIs and increase funding for a public ophthalmology workforce,
- Invest and support the RANZCO Regionally Enhanced Training Network, which has Federal funding,
- Establish an Agency of Telehealth, InReach and Outreach Services to support the regional workforce,
- Fund equitable delivery of cataract surgery across NSW that meets community demand,
- Fund established NSW ophthalmology outreach services, and
- Urgently implement Indigeneity as a comorbidity for wait list categorisation purposes.
Moving forward, RANZCO hopes to work collaboratively with NSW Heath and Government to ensure equal access to eye care services across the state.
“We’ve been advocating about these issues for ages, but hopefully this time government will engage with us to make real progress,” said Associate Professor Agar, Director of Ophthalmology in Broken Hill and part of the Outback Eye Service.