Hon John Day BSc BDSc MLA

Hon John Day BSc BDSc MLA

Former Minister for Health; Culture and the Arts

    Outback eye van highlights vision for the future

    14/06/2016 8:40 AM
    • Eye care delivered to more than 650 people
    • Mobile van visits 12 centres in first three months 

    State-of-the-art eye care has been provided to 668 regional patients in the past three months, thanks to the work of the Lions Outback Vision Van, which received $2 million in funding from the Liberal National Government.


    Touring the van, Health Minister John Day said the mobile eye specialists had set a cracking pace since beginning their work in March.


    "I congratulate eye specialist Associate Professor Angus Turner and his team, particularly for the impact they are having on the lives of Aboriginal people," Mr Day said.


    "They have already visited 12 centres and not only are they saving sight, the van will potentially save taxpayers large amounts of money through efficient healthcare delivery."


    In remote Western Australia, eye specialist coverage is up to 19 times lower than in urban areas and rural residents are three times less likely to have seen an ophthalmologist.


    "Research indicates the cost of closing the eye health gap between regional and metropolitan WA could be as high as $33 million," the Minister said.


    The van is fitted with the latest specialist equipment to provide comprehensive care for conditions including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.


    It integrates telehealth, electronic patient records and mobile communications tools such as teleophthalmology.


    "While its services are available to all people, the Outback Vision Van is the first mobile clinic to operate under protocols and principals developed by the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia," Mr Day said.


    "Spending up to a fortnight in each community, it is also providing opportunities for general health promotion."


    The 20 metre-long vision van includes treatment, imaging and consulting rooms, along with a reception and waiting area, kitchen and bathroom.


    Fact File

    • 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
    • The WA Department of Health and Lotterywest contributed $2 million and $1.9 million respectively to the $5.2 million Lion's Outback Vision Van
    • The Lions Outback Vision Van will head to Katanning on June 26, 2016
    • It can treat up to 200 people per week 

    Minister's office - 6552 6200


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