Subsidised spectacle schemes
Government funded spectacle schemes that support eligible patients to access subsidises for prescription glasses are operated by all state and territory governments in Australia. Patient eligibility, subsidy size, product coverage and the role of the optometrist in supporting patient access to the scheme, differs across jurisdictions. In addition to spectacles, some states cover contact lenses and low vision aids for eligible patients.
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Queensland’s Spectacle Supply Scheme
Victorian Eyecare Service (VES)
Victorian Aboriginal Spectacle Subsidy Scheme (VASSS)
Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) has built on the highly effective advocacy delivered by Optometry SA over recent years, securing the following enhancements to the South Australia’s ‘Glasses SA’ subsidised spectacle scheme in May 2020:
- Abolition of patient co-payments, resulting in free standard glasses for Aboriginal patients
- The option for patients to add additional co-payments to upgrade their spectacles
- An additional $50 for children’s frames to help parents upgrade to styles more attractive and comfortable for their children
- Thinner lenses and an additional $50 payment for eligible prescriptions.
The SA Premier’s press release can be read in full here. Later in 2020, OV/SA will again present an argument to SA’s Minister for Human Services, seeking a significant increase to the Government reimbursements for optometry participants under the scheme.
Click here to go to the Glasses SA portal.
Tasmania’s Spectacle Assistance Scheme
Optometrists can play an important role in supporting eligible patients to access these schemes. Optometry Australia members can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9668 8500 for more information.