RANZCO has launched Vision 2030 and beyond, an ambitious initiative aimed at improving access to eye healthcare in New Zealand.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists said timely access to eye care is vital but lacking in NZ.
Aotearoa New Zealand has no national vision plan nor the means to execute
“Aotearoa New Zealand has no national vision plan nor the means to execute one,” RANZCO’s Vision 2030 and beyond NZ plan states.
“Our population is ageing and the demand on eye health services continues to increase rapidly.
Our waitlists continue to grow and while we can offer better treatments for the six main conditions causing vision impairment, namely age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, keratoconus, and refractive error, not everyone can access them.
“We have major inequities in care with poorer vision outcomes particularly for our Māori and Pasifika communities,” the document states.
RANZCO’s NZ Chair Dr Liz Insull said the initiative “defines the barriers to equitable access to eye healthcare for all people in Aotearoa New Zealand” and then outlines an “ambitious plan of work to remove these barriers”.
She said the approach was collaborative, comprehensive, and sustainable.
The plan addresses six focus points: service delivery, workforce and training, Māori and Pasifika healthcare, NZ’s role in regional and global eye health, preventative eye healthcare, and sustainability.
RANZCO said the plan was based on three principles to ensure:
• A structure that creates trust, shared decision making, and access to the very best eye healthcare,
• Equitable outcomes and that Māori world views, values, and wairuatanga (spirituality) are present in the eye health sector, and
• Eye healthcare delivery is sustainable and future-proofed, enabled by innovation and appropriate technology and IT systems.
RANZCO representatives have started stakeholder discussion on the initiative, meeting with NZ Health Minister, the Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall. RANZCO is seeking contributions to the plan from government, community, and health stakeholders.
The document is available on RANZCO’s website: ranzco.edu.