Australia's Leading Ophthalmic Magazine Since 1975

     Free Sign Up     

Australia's Leading Ophthalmic Magazine Since 1975

     Free Sign Up     
News

$3 million government commitment to macular disease as action plan unveiled

28/03/2019By Myles Hume
Share:
The Federal Government has announced a $3 million pre-budget commitment to address macular disease in Australia, while also signalling its support for a newly released MDFA-developed national action plan.

Federal Health Minister Mr Greg Hunt unveiled the new funding package, which will see $1.5 million invested over four years in order to increase awareness of macular disease’ risk factors. From that funding, $1 million will be provided directly to Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA).

The remaining $1.5 million will go to “appropriate organisations” in order to provide health professionals with information and education regarding the management of macular degeneration.

The government’s announcement has also been timed to coincide with the release of a “National Strategic Action Plan for Macular Disease”, a project led by MDFA and commissioned by the Federal Government last year.

Published today, the 44-point action plan is the first such plan created to specifically address macular disease in Australia. It aims to reduce the impact of the disease as well as identify effective, evidence-based priority areas of action. It is also designed to improve the coordination of resources across all levels of government.

MDFA’s plan identifies areas of improvement across four categories; prevention and early detection; treatment; support for people with macular disease; and data and research.



“Australia is a world leader in fighting macular disease. Over the past decade, we’ve seen key stakeholders from across the health sector and industry unite to prevent, detect and manage macular disease. The ‘roadmap’ outlined in this 44-point action plan will allow this partnership to continue in a coordinated, strategic way.”
MDFA CEO, Dee Hopkins

Examples include the development of nationally endorsed evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of age-related macular degeneration, and efforts to pursue Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare Benefits Schedule funding for newer macular disease treatments.

MDFA CEO Ms Dee Hopkins said she welcomed Minister Hunt’s endorsement of the plan: “Australia is a world leader in fighting macular disease. Over the past decade, we’ve seen key stakeholders from across the health sector and industry unite to prevent, detect and manage macular disease.

“The ‘roadmap’ outlined in this 44-point action plan will allow this partnership to continue in a coordinated, strategic way. These action points will help reduce – and ideally prevent – the economic, social and emotional costs of vision loss and blindness as a result of macular disease, greatly assisting the members of our community living with macular disease, their families and carers.”

AFT Pharmaceuticals
advertisement

In addition to the plan, Minister Hunt said the government was committed to promoting awareness, early detection and management of macular disease.

“Several medications used in the treatment of age-related macular disease are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. They include ranibizumab, aflibercept and verteporfin,” he said.

MDFA national research advisor and ophthalmologist Professor Paul Mitchell said the plan articulates a framework and agenda to enable sight-saving work to continue in coordination with all stakeholders.

“As our population ages and becomes more at risk of age-related macular degeneration, and with a rising prevalence of diabetic eye disease in working aged Australians, the incidence and impact of macular disease will only increase and put additional strain on our healthcare system, which is why this Action Plan is so important,” he said.

The MDFA action plan will be available on the organisation’s website.

 

More reading:

MDFA to distribute toolkits ahead of Macula Month
MDFA invites applications for macular disease research grants

 

IMAGE CAPTION: MDFA CEO Ms Dee Hopkins speaking at the launch of the national action plan

large leaderboard
advertisement





BOQ Specialist Bank
advertisement
Editor's Suggestion
Hot Stories

Eyecare Plus
advertisement


OR
 

Subscribe for Insight in your Inbox

Get Insight with the latest in industry news, trends, new products, services and equipment!