The Honourable Amanda Vanstone, former Minister and Senator for South Australia, officially opened the Australian College of Optometry’s (ACO) new public health optometry clinic in Elizabeth, South Australia on 21 October 2019 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Elizabeth Eye Care will provide bulk-billing for all patients, with no out of pocket costs for any diagnostic imaging that is required. The clinic also provides comprehensive referral pathways and low-cost spectacles through the South Australian Government’s GlassesSA scheme. The clinic will provide referral pathways with GPs and ophthalmologists and will explore opportunities to co-manage patients with local public hospitals. The ACO has a strong history of providing collaborative care with public hospitals in Victoria and we look forward to the opportunity to be of assistance in South Australia as needed.
ACO CEO Maureen O’Keefe stated that the launch of Elizabeth Eye Care follows a comprehensive review in which the ACO identified that the provision of eye care services in South Australia was below the national average across both the general population and in disadvantaged communities.
“The ACO has established a public health optometry clinic in Elizabeth towards helping meet unmet demand for accessible and affordable eye care for South Australians, and as a base for developing an extensive outreach program for disadvantaged, vulnerable and remote communities,” Ms O’Keefe said.
ACO Director of Clinical Services Neville Turner said “Our aim is to work with other health care providers in South Australia to increase the number of people having their eyes checked so as to prevent the risk of blindness, which is an increasing risk as the population ages and with the growing incidence of chronic disease including diabetes.”
Elizabeth Eye Care optometrist and site manager Tristan Glover said: “We will continue to seek partnership opportunities with local primary health, community, and charity organisations to achieve the best eye health outcomes for the community.”
The ACO is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to improve the eye health and well-being of communities through innovation, partnership and leadership. The ACO is committed to providing culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as asylum seeker and refugee communities, people with disabilities and those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.