Vision 2020 Australia is calling for an increased government investment in eye health, as part of a push to invest in initiatives that can transform the vision of Australia and its neighbours in 2020.
Proposals in the sector’s submission are targeted towards addressing avoidable blindness and supporting those with vision loss.
There are currently more than 450,000 Australians living with blindness or vision loss, and estimates suggest that without intervention, these numbers could almost double by 2030.
The total annual economic cost of vision loss in Australia is estimated to be $16.6 billion or $28,905 per person with vision loss aged over 40.
The good news is that around 90% of vision loss can be prevented through early identification and treatment. For people who have permanent vision loss, there is a range of equipment, training and advice which can support them to remain independent and involved in the workforce and the community.
On behalf of members in the eye health and vision care sector, Vision 2020 Australia’s submission outlines priorities for eye sector investment to:
- End avoidable blindness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Improve access to assistive technologies for people who are blind or vision impaired.
- Support a second National Eye Health Survey.
- Expand investment in eye health programs in the Indo-Pacific, with a particular focus on Papua New Guinea.
- Continue support for the KeepSight program.
- Improve public access to intravitreal injections.