Sector takes next step in tackling avoidable blindness and reducing the impact of vision loss in Australia
Vision 2020 Australia and the Department of Health and Ageing has taken a significant step in bringing together the eye health and vision care sector to inform the development of a new National Framework Implementation Plan.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Jennifer Gersbeck, said last week’s workshop in Melbourne was a landmark event for the sector.
“We have been advocating for a new implementation plan for quite some time and we have taken the positive next step in bringing the new National Framework Implementation Plan to fruition,” Ms Gersbeck said.
In January this year, the Standing Council on Health released the Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss.
The release of this framework paved the way for the development of a National Framework Implementation Plan which will provide a focus for future actions and align Australia’s efforts with the World Health Assembly Global Action Plan 2014-19.
Ms Gersbeck said the sector raised the inclusion of a set of indicators which would ensure the implementation plan was more comprehensive and robust.
“The sector has been very keen to make sure the new plan includes the development of a measurable set of indicators to monitor the progress and success of the sector and government’s efforts toward eliminating avoidable blindness,” she said.
"Priorities for the plan may include strengthening relationships between stakeholders for the prevention of avoidable blindness and vision loss, addressing eye issues of national significance including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people eye health, support for people with low vision, a focus on improving the evidence base, and preventing eye disease associated with diabetes.”
The workshop was facilitated by independent consultant, Jane Fenton AM.
Among the line-up of speakers at the workshop was Vision 2020 Australia CEO Jennifer Gersbeck, Department of Health and Ageing Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Programs Branch Assistant Secretary Janet Quigley, Vision 2020 Australia Prevention and Early Intervention Committee Chair Genevieve Quilty, Vision 2020 Australia Low Vision and Rehabilitation Committee Chair Associate Professor Jonathan Jackson, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee Chair Lisa Briggs, Professor Hugh Taylor AC and Professor Jill Keeffe OAM.
“We are delighted with the turnout to today’s workshop and look forward to working with the Department of Health and Ageing on the plan’s development,” Ms Gersbeck said.