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Sight saving procedure to be added to MBS

11/04/2018By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
Australian ophthalmic groups have welcomed the upcoming addition of corneal collagen cross linking (CCXL) for keratoconus to the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS).

The addition, due to come into effect on May 1, will make the treatment available for people who had previously been unable to access it due to cost and availability. RANZCO and its affiliate the Australian and New Zealand Cornea Society (ANZCS) has long been calling for its addition, as its use can help people with keratoconus avoid complex and invasive corneal transplants.


“This is an important step that brings an innovative and effective treatment option to the many people living with the effects of keratoconus in Australia.”
Gerard Sutton, ANZCS chair

“This is an important step that brings an innovative and effective treatment option to the many people living with the effects of keratoconus in Australia,” ANZCS chair Professor Gerard Sutton said.

“From May 1 these people will have available to them a less invasive option that could mitigate the need for a full corneal transplant and that can either stop or slow down the progression of this visually impairing condition. This is a hugely positive and very welcome change.”

RANZCO president Associate Professor Mark Daniell also said he was delighted the procedure was being made more readily available.

“RANZCO endorses the Federal Government’s initiative in recognising the importance of crosslinking for the prevention of sight threatening disease, and in providing financial support for patients suffering from progressive keratoconus,” he said.

Keratoconus causes a person’s cornea to change shape over time, and can often result in blurry vision that impacts people’s ability to undertake every day tasks – in particular driving at night. Bright lights can start to appear streaked, while glare and halos can appear around lights, and over time visual function can become progressively worse making it difficult to go about daily life.

Image courtesy: Flickr | Fort Belvoir Community Hospital

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