Health Minister Greg Hunt
By Ashleigh McMillan
Health Minister Greg Hunt has allocated $12 million in funding for Indigenous health as part of the NHMRC grant announcement on 4 February.
More than $125.3 million was shared between 110 projects, including $595,375 for a project targeting at-risk relatives of glaucoma patients for early diagnosis and treatment, headed by Professor David Mackey from University of Western Australia.
Dr Megan Freund from the University of Newcastle received $177,197 to investigate the effectiveness of systems-based intervention in increasing health assessments in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.
The project summary states that despite health checks benefiting patients by detecting chronic disease and increasing preventative health opportunities, few Indigenous Australians undergo regular health checks.
Optometry Australia national policy manager Kirsty Machon welcomes the research focus on reducing risk of chronic illness through culturally appropriate and practical interventions.
‘With family history such an important risk for glaucoma, and comprehensive eye examinations so important in detecting early disease, we are pleased that this has been recognised as a research priority,’ she said.
In a statement, Mr Hunt said preventative health and support for Indigenous Australians was a pillar of his government’s long-term health plan.