Updating the model of eye care for Aboriginal populations in remote Central Australia

William Mitchell, Mark Hassall, Tim Henderson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    Eye disease is the third-highest contributor towards health inequality for Aboriginal Australians. Understanding how the Central Australian ophthalmology service addresses complexities of remote eye care is crucial in understanding how expansion can meet current and future needs. The present study analyses findings from the MEDLINE database and Governmental reports, and descriptive information from stakeholders in Central Australia and the Australian Department of Health. We describe the current Central Australian ophthalmology model at three levels; (a) the healthcare service level (specialized primary care, local/outreach optometry and ophthalmology services, and intensive extended surgical weeks), (b) the community level (local community staff, clinics and initiatives, and eye “champions” and mutual support), and (c) the healthcare system level (federal and state government, and private funding). We conclude that building full-time specialist availability, and system-wide approaches to increase patient utilisation, will facilitate overcoming barriers of remoteness, and create enduring improvements in Central Australian eye care and health-inequality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
    Early online date7 Sep 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2020

    Keywords

    • Australia
    • ophthalmology
    • remote
    • rural
    • service

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