Date of publication: September 2014
IntroductionThis is the first Australian Government Implementation Plan under the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss.
The national framework was developed as Australia's response to the World Health Assembly (resolution WHA56.26) call for member nations to develop a national Vision 2020 plan.
The national framework is a blueprint for coordinated action by governments, health professionals, non-government organisations and industry to work in partnership to focus activity on the prevention and avoidance of vision loss and disease.
This implementation plan has been developed by the Department of Health to support the national framework. It is intended to complement the core responsibilities of the health portfolio (such as Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Private Health Insurance Rebate, and funding to support access to health care in public hospitals nationally) which ensure that all Australians have access to high quality health care and medicines. The purpose of the plan is to build on existing eye health care services and programmes, support coordination of effort, provide guidance on the mechanisms to address key priorities, identify indicators and other measures of progress, and guide investment and future activity and action across the department.
This plan will cover the period 2014-2016.
Development of the plan has focussed on targeted action on eye health and avoidable vision loss within the health portfolio, however the department acknowledges the key role of the states, territories and the broader non-government sector in addressing eye health. Consultation with Vision 2020 Australia, which represents over 60 eye health organisations (involved in local and global eye care, health promotion, low vision support, vision rehabilitation, eye research, professional assistance and community support), has been central to the preparation of this plan.
The plan will be provided to the Community Care and Population Health Principal Committee (CCPHPC), which reports to the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, to inform any discussions with states and territories on initiatives relating to the national framework and Australia's international eye health obligations under the Global Action Plan, which was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2013.