Optometry Australia (OA) has launched its 2022 Federal Election platform and 2022-2023 pre-Budget submission to ensure that eye health is on the political agenda in the upcoming Federal Election.
The 2022 Federal Election platform, which outlines proposed election initiatives, aims to provide a critical space for OA to reinforce its ongoing conversations about how the inadequacies of the current health system are resulting in lack of access to timely diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.
The documents also advocate for optometrists to work to their full and evolving scope of practice
The initiatives include a focussed eye health awareness campaign; activity to improve awareness of eye health – especially chronic health conditions – among health professionals; a regional intravitreal injections collaborative care pilot; optometric domiciliary loading in residential aged care; and increased funding for the Visiting Optometry Scheme for remote Indigenous communities.
Combined with the Working Together for Better Eye Care policy platform, launched in 2021, and the 2022-2023 pre-Budget submission, the OA’s documents “outline how, with practice, low cost investment and reasonable changes in policy, the delivery of eye health can be enhanced through the effective utilisation of our highly skilled workforce.”
The documents also advocate for optometrists to work to their full and evolving scope of practice, which is further underpinned in OA’s Optometry 2040 strategy.
Lyn Brodie, CEO, Optometry Australia, wrote, “We are working hard behind the scenes in the lead up to this election to seek the necessary policy change and increased investment in initiatives which we see as clear and urgent opportunities for optometry and community eye health.
“People power has, and will always, deliver change. As optometrists you are an important part of your local community and each and every one of you has the power to help move us forward for the positive future of our profession.”
OA will host a webinar on 22 February to outline clear and practical ways for industry members to get involved and advocate for optometry. Registration is available here.