Many stakeholders believed both MSOAP and VOS were both good programs that represented good value for funding invested by government. However, they were concerned that there was little known about the programs outside those involved directly with them either as administrators or service providers. The absence of mechanisms to provide feedback to state/Northern Territory offices, fundholders and service providers was commented on by many stakeholders, as well as the absence of a mechanism to inform the broader public about the programs.
One mechanism for improving this situation is to create internal and external reports that include a range of basic statistics on the program. The recommendations on the national databases for MSOAP and VOS will go some way to creating a more appropriate mechanism for managing data at a national level. From these data sources a set of standard reports should be generated to be used by staff within DoHA and the various advisory committees. In addition, we suggest an annual statistical report be developed for the programs which present statistics summarised by state/territory and ASGC remoteness areas on:
- services funded and the nature of these services (e.g. by specialties)
- number of visits planned and delivered
- patients seen by outreach service providers by Indigenous status
- other relevant statistics (e.g. related to eye health problems detected by VOS optometrists).