The overarching goal of the National Eye Health Framework is:

to promote eye health and reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness and vision loss in Australia.

The key areas for action for the National Eye Health Framework are the following:
  • reducing the risk of eye disease and injury;
  • increasing early detection;
  • improving access to eye health care services;
  • improving the systems and quality of care; and
  • improving the underlying evidence base.
For each key area the National Framework sets out a brief outline of the challenges to be addressed and a series of actions that may be utilised to meet these challenges.

It should be acknowledged that by international comparison, Australia already has excellent eye care services. It is important therefore to build on the important work done to date. Action items are therefore designed to complement and build on the extensive range of eye health related activities already being undertaken by the Australian Government and state and territory governments, professional associations and other non-government organisations. For example, the National Framework takes account of the development of eye health programs delivered in a more collaborative and coordinated approach as identified through the initiatives of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Eye Health Program which was introduced in 1997.

Developing strategic partnerships and maximising linkages to relevant national strategies and initiatives that impact on eye health is an integral part of each action item. Accordingly for each key area for action the relevant national strategies and initiatives are indicated.

In particular, the National Eye Health Framework will need to link into the work currently underway to develop and implement a National Chronic Disease Strategy to maximise the potential for achieving more focused and coordinated action in priority areas common across health plans. In addition, since the major sight-threatening conditions in Australia are the age-related eye diseases, strategies to promote eye health need to be linked to initiatives and approaches targeted at population ageing. More information about related national strategies and initiatives is provided in the Background Paper ‘Eye Health in Australia’.
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