Specialist eye health guidelines for use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations

These guidelines cover three eye health conditions common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: cataract, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma. They are based on a review of existing literature and practice, and provide information about the treatment and management of these conditions in rural and remote communities.

Page last updated: September 2001

The Specialist Eye Health Guidelines for use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations cover three eye health conditions common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: cataract, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma.   They are based on a review of existing literature and practice, and provide information about the treatment and management of these conditions in rural and remote communities, offering clinical and contextual advice about 9best practice' in eye health.

Although primarily for use by ophthalmologists, the Guidelines are a reference for all eye health professionals working in primary health care settings, including optometrists, orthoptists, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Program coordinators, Aboriginal Health Workers and other allied health professionals.

The Guidelines address recommendations arising from the 1997 Report - Eye Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities - which was commissioned by the Commonwealth government and written by Professor Hugh Taylor.   It highlighted the dearth of quality eye health services in rural and remote Indigenous communities, and recommended the development of guidelines to assist health care professionals in the delivery of their services.

The Guidelines were developed by the Centre for Eye Research Australia, in collaboration with a reference group comprising membership from the Indigenous sub-committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, the Optometrists Association of Australia, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).

Development of the Guidelines was initiated and funded under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Program by the OATSIH, a Division of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Program was initiated in 1998-99 in response to recommendations arising from the 1997 Report.   Its purpose is to improve Indigenous Australians' eye health by facilitating access to eye health services in urban, rural and remote communities.

The Eye Health Program reflects the broader OATSIH objective to improve access to health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, through accessible comprehensive primary health care. Fundamental to this approach is the principle of working in partnership with the broad network of community-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services.

Hard copies of this document are available free of charge and distributed by the
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Phone: (02) 9690 1001
or write to the College located at:
94-98 Chalmers Street
SURRY HILLS NSW 2010

Specialist Eye Health Guidelines

Foreword and Contents (PDF 128Kb)
Part 1 - Cataract (PDF 76 KB)
Part 2 - Diabetic Retinopathy (PDF 531 KB)
Part 3 - Trachoma (PDF 509 KB)
Part 4 - Appendices/ References (PDF 59 KB)

For more information relating to this publication, or if you are having trouble downloading the pdf, please email OATSIH Enquiries or call 02 6289 5291.Top of page

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