Deputy Premier Liza Harvey has officially opened the new Lions Eye Institute's Outback Vision Van, Western Australia's newest mobile eye health clinic.
The van, which will allow specialist eye care to be delivered to parts of regional and remote WA, has been made possible with the support of a $1.9 million Lotterywest grant and a $2 million Department of Health contribution.
The van is fitted with the latest specialist equipment to provide comprehensive eye care for conditions including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Mrs Harvey said the van had the potential to help save and improve the sight of thousands of West Australians living in regional and remote communities.
"The van ensures people living in regional areas are not disadvantaged because of their location and provides access to high quality services that will help in eliminating preventable blindness and loss of vision," she said.
Health Minister Kim Hames said the van would travel more than 24,000 kilometres each year, serving 16 regional centres and had the capacity to treat up to 200 patients a week.
"The 20 metre-long mobile health facility consists of a treatment, imaging and consulting rooms, along with a reception and waiting area, kitchen and shower," Dr Hames said.
"The Lions Outback Vision service will work in partnership with 20 community controlled Aboriginal medical services across WA."
The total cost of the project was $5.2 million with the Australian Government also providing funding.
The van will take to the road tomorrow travelling to Kalgoorlie-Boulder to deliver its first scheduled clinic.
The van will travel more than 24,000km each year and provide services in Albany, Esperance, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Leonora, Wiluna, Newman, Roebourne, Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra and Katanning
WA is the only State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisations
Last financial year, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA community
Deputy Premier's office - 6552 5900
Health Minister's office - 6552 5300