Vision 2020 Australia has launched a new cross-discipline working group to bring together three of Australia’s national eye health professional organisations for a focus on collaborative care models in paediatric eyecare.
Launched at the Innovation in Eye Health and Vision Care function at Parliament House on Thursday 16 November, the group will develop and implement models of collaborative care that enhance individual patient access to much needed eyecare services, as well as enhancing the overall effectiveness of the eye health system.
The cross-discipline collaborative eyecare working group includes RANZCO, Optometry Australia (OA) and Orthoptics Australia, and was established following Vision 2020 Australia’s collaborative care workshop in August.
Paediatric eyecare is the first area of focus for the group, with plans to be developed and implemented over the next 12 months.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Ms Carly Iles, said collaborative models of care are a critical component of reducing inequity in access to eye health services across Australia.
“We need equity in access to vision care in Australia, particularly for children. Australian children with undiagnosed or untreated eye conditions experience poorer educational outcomes and face social exclusion,” she said.
“Prioritising eye healthcare for children would have long-term benefits across all aspects of our health system and community wellbeing.”
The president of RANZCO, Dr Grant Raymond, welcomed the formation of the working group, and said that it’s an opportunity to develop high-value collaborative models of care, working with optometrists and orthoptists, to develop clearly defined roles and pathways.
This was supported by the national president of Optometry Australia, Dr Margaret Lam, who said that the group is a real opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships with ophthalmologists and orthoptists that recognise each other’s skills and competencies.
The working group will include ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists with practical knowledge and experience in collaborative care.