In 2010-11, annual allocations were $2.8 million for Core VOS and $1.2 million for VOS IA, a total of $4.0 million (Table 72). These allocations will increase to a total of $5.8 million in 2013-14, with the majority of expansion occurring through VOS IA. By 2013-14, VOS IA will account for 46% of the total VOS allocation. As shown in Table 72, actual expenditure for the scheme has frequently fallen short of budget allocations, by an average of 20% over the last four financial years. The level of underspending related to outreach services that have not be provided or claimed by VOS optometrists. This usually relates to situations in which visits are cancelled, often because of factors related to the communities being visited. As discussed below, the underspend is more significant for very remote communities.

Under the current arrangements DoHA expenditure for the management of VOS is estimated to be around $550,000-$570,000 per annum. Department costs are likely to increase with the VOS IA expansion if the current approach to administering the program is maintained.

Table 72 – Visiting Optometrists Scheme allocations and expenditures 2007-08 to 2013-14 (does not include Departmental administration)


Allocation/expenditure area

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Allocations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOS – Core

2,256

2,416

2,588

2,767

2,528

2,963

3,138

VOS – Indigenous Australians

 

 

 

1,262

1,866

2,577

2,678

Total

2,256

2,416

2,588

4,029

4,394

5,540

5,816

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenditure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOS – Core

1,588

2,127

1,672

2,395

 

 

 

VOS – Indigenous Australians

 

 

163

1,017

 

 

 

Total

1,588

2,127

1,835

3,412