Poster Presentation Abstracts
National Eye Care and Equipment Inventory Project
Leah Ergos, Tania McLeod, The Fred Hollows Foundation Indigenous Australia Program
The Foundation’s Indigenous Australia Program (IAP) together with support provided by Indigenous Eye Heath, the University of Melbourne and Vision 2020 Australia, were commissioned by the Australian Government to undertake the National Eye Care Equipment Inventory Project (NECEIP) an audit of eye health testing equipment at primary health care services across Australia with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. The audit was conducted in preparation for the Medicare item number 12325 for diabetic retinopathy screening that came into effect on 1 November 2016 and to capture information about the accessibility and availability of eye care equipment across Australia. The information collected was used to identify and prioritise health facilities that were eligible to receive a new retinal camera and training. As a result, 155 primary health care sites across Australia have received retinal cameras through an Australian Government funded project.
Data and information collected from NECEIP has also been used to inform Vision 2020s Strong Eyes, Strong Communities: A five-year plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health and vision which makes recommendations to the Australian Government to enhance service delivery and support equipment needs for primary and secondary health care services as a priority.
Optometry in ACCHOs, Pathways, Partnerships and Opportunities for Education
Optometrists: Dr Genevieve Napper (Vic) Gary Crerie (WA) Shannon Davies (QLD) Jose Estevez (SA) Christopher Law (Vic) Sarah Nicholls (NT) Lisa Penrose (QLD) Vicki Sheehan (QLD)
Optometrists deliver comprehensive eyecare services in many ACCHOs across Australia at the primary and secondary care level enabling early detection, timely treatment, triaging and referrals for major eye conditions. Recent national epidemiological surveys still highlight that the eyecare sector is not meeting the needs of a large proportion of First Nations Australians and demonstrates there is room for improvement. Preventing avoidable vision loss requires optometrists to; (1) engage in close partnerships with community members and primary health care staff to enable uptake of eye and health services (2) development of effective referral pathways and sustainable service systems (3) participate in advocacy roles with other Aboriginal organisations and (4) co-design policy and systems with Aboriginal communities. Additionally, optometry within ACCHOs provides several opportunities for capacity building with primary health care staff and supporting clinical placements for health care students. Optometry students and recent graduates are encouraged to participate in eye care programs within ACCHOs, but further work is needed to enhance educational opportunities and strengthen the workforce into the future. This presentation will discuss examples of success, the importance of effective partnerships and integration of optometry into holistic multidisciplinary primary health care in ACCHOs.
Magnifiers, I’ve already got glasses
Lachlan Rich, CheckUp
The prospect of reading comfortably again with spectacles subsidised or free at the point of delivery can incentivise a visit to the optometrist. Magnifiers or “Readymade readers” can negate this encouragement.
Magnifiers are inexpensive spectacles with the same prescription in both lenses and an optical centre that is not customized for the wearer. While they temporarily address refractive error, Optometry Australia believes they may lead to a false sense of security and divert people with serious eye conditions from seeking professional care.
Pharmacists sell magnifiers over the counter. Availability in discount stores and roadhouses was unable to be dealt with in this project.
As a trusted health professional, a pharmacist can educate and encourage, recommending that a person purchasing magnifiers also sees an optometrist for a full eye examination, advising of visit dates and that an optometric exam will be bulk billed.
Developed a with the support of seven retail pharmacies in the Western Queensland Hospital and Health Service area, the “See your optometrist” tag will be attached to magnifiers in pharmacy displays. The tag is complemented by a leaflet which makes purchasers aware of the CheckUP funded visiting optometry service.
Community driven eye care - 'Pathways and partnerships'
Australian College of Optometry
The ACO have been working in partnership with Aboriginal community-controlled health services for over 20 years. Partnerships, flexibility and community driven eye care has been fundamental to our approach in developing our programs and service delivery models. We aim to demonstrate the different co-designed models of care and referral pathways developed to meet the eye health needs of the communities we work with.
The Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Scheme - 'Strengthening and sustaining access'
Australian College of Optometry
The Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (VASSS) is a Victorian initiative that aims to improve access to high quality visual aids (eg; glasses/spectacles) for Aboriginal Victorians, and in doing so, contribute to closing the gap in eye health between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal Victorians. The VASSS has been in operation for over 10 years and has provided almost 20,000 visual aids over this time. The VASSS has played a key role in increasing uptake of eyecare services in Victoria and assisted in closing the gap in eyecare across the state. The ACO aims to demonstrate the impact that the VASSS has in contributing to a holistic model of eyecare, and showcase their best practice, culturally appropriate model.
Eye health at a non-health-service ACCO
Margaret Murray, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation
Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCHO) are sustainable, grassroots organisations that assist in building community capacity for self-determination. Given the understanding that Health, in a broad holistic sense refers to the social, emotional and cultural well-being of the whole Community, some ACCOs have a GP-clinic type ‘health service’ - the ACCHO (Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations) part of the entity.
Despite not being an ACCHO, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation facilitates health and well-being of the community through preventative eye-health, and a visiting optical service. This presentation describes what eye-health needs of the community can be met and how, when operating in a community-controlled organisation that does not have a GP clinic.