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Outback Vision Van’s first tour of duty hailed a success

MEDIA RELEASE

 
The Lions Outback Vision Van (LOVV) has completed its first tour of regional Western Australia – delivering vital eye health services to more than 660 patients across 12 sites.
 
The $5.1 million LOVV is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by highly-skilled professionals. It provides high quality eye care to people living in regional, remote and indigenous communities throughout Western Australia.
 
McCusker Director of Lions Outback Vision Dr Angus Turner said the first trip, which started in Kalgoorlie in March, was very successful.
 
“The LOVV was able to cater for patients with a range of complex conditions such as cataracts, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy that might otherwise have had to travel to a major centre or Perth for treatment,” he said.
 
The van is back in Perth until June 28 for servicing. It will then head to Katanning, Albany, Kalgoorlie, Leonora, Wiluna and Newman.
 
Health Minister John Day and Lotterywest CEO Paul Andrew took time out yesterday to tour the LOVV with LEI Managing Director Professor David Mackey and Dr Turner.
 
The State Government, Lotterywest, Commonwealth Government and LEI provided major financial support to the van.
 
“We appreciate the ongoing interest in the success of the Lions Outback Vision Van by both the Health Minister and Lotterywest,” Professor Mackey said.
 
“We believe the van is a great example of how Government can partner with an organisation like the Lions Eye Institute to deliver innovative health care solutions.”
 
The service aims to bridge the gap in eye health outcomes from people living in regional and remote parts of the State.
 
“In remote WA, eye specialist coverage is currently up to 19 times lower than in urban areas and rural residents are three times less likely to see an ophthalmologist,” Dr Turner said.
 
“People in regional and remote Western Australia, therefore, are far more likely to be afflicted by preventable blindness and vision loss.”
 
Lions Outback Vision is the outreach arm of the LEI and continues a long tradition of providing ophthalmic services in regional and remote Western Australia that began with the first mass glaucoma caravan screenings in the 1960s.
 
For more information about where the LOVV is scheduled to visit and when, visit the Outback Vision Van website
 
                           
Graph of Lions Outback Vision Van's patient consults from March-June 2016 across 12 sites
 
Media Contact: Francesca Robb – francescarobb@lei.org.au / 0409 102 556
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