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New investment in spectacles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

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Vision 2020 Australia welcomes the Australian Government investment of $2 million to increase access to subsidised spectacles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

The one-off funds have been allocated to Vision 2020 Australia to work with the Australian Government to encourage State and Territory Governments to enhance the existing arrangements for subsidising the cost of spectacles. 

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott said: “Our members have been actively advocating for this investment that will help make spectacles more affordable for up to 10,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our country.”

“Around 60 per cent of vision loss among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is due to issues that can be corrected with glasses, so this is a very positive step. We look forward to working with the government as part of Vision 2020 Australia’s ongoing commitment with our members to reduce blindness and vision loss.”

Dr Dawn Casey, Acting Deputy CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and Chair of the Vision 2020 Australia policy committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health also welcomed the investment. 

“Under some State and Territory schemes at the moment, only a third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people needing glasses are actually receiving them.  We need to do what we can to provide cost-certainty and affordable access to prescription spectacles for our people.”

Minister for Indigenous Health the Hon Ken Wyatt MP said: “While subsidised spectacle schemes exist in all Australian states and territories, the existing schemes vary and in some cases, have limited impact in overcoming barriers to access. This new investment is being provided to encourage State and Territory Governments to work with Vision 2020 Australia to establish a nationally consistent approach to spectacle subsidies.”

“We want to remove affordability barriers so Aboriginal people can get glasses when they need them, regardless of where they live.”

ENDS

For more information: Amy Johnston at Vision 2020 Australia
03 9656 2020or ajohnston@vision2020australia.org.au

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