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Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley
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By Helen Carter

 

The Australian Government has funded a $650,000 shortfall to enable the National Eye Health Survey to be completed.

The research is the first nationwide study of the prevalence of eye conditions in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and will test the eye health of people in 30 sites, including urban, regional and remote locations.

The survey is being undertaken by Vision 2020 Australia and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA).

CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, Jennifer Gersbeck, applauded the Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley’s foresight in supporting completion of the project and said results would provide a comprehensive picture of the state of Australian eye health.

‘It’s now full steam ahead for the research project which is on track to be completed in June 2016,’ Ms Gersbeck said in a media release.

‘Minister Ley’s latest contribution takes the government’s financial commitment for the survey to more than $1.8 million. Additional contributions of close to $1 million from non-government and private sectors highlight the broad support for this important project,’ she said.

The survey is supported by the Australian Government with other contributions coming from Brien Holden Vision Institute, CERA, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Novartis, OPSM, Optometry Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Zeiss.

Principal investigator Dr Mohamed Dirani stressed the value of finishing the survey.

‘Testing has been completed in South Australia and the Northern Territory and is underway in Victoria and New South Wales, with activity to move into Western Australia and Queensland,’ Dr Dirani stated in the media release.

‘We are already seeing some interesting results which will provide invaluable data to enable better planning of eye health and vision care policy and service delivery. Participant response rates have been very positive and we have received some good feedback from those involved,’ he said.

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