Good news for diabetics hoping to book an eye test Loftus, as the Australian federal government recently launched the national Keep Sight earlier in October 2018, a diabetes eye screening programme aimed at improving eyecare for those afflicted.
The programme’s official launching was held at Parliament House, in an event that was attended by major figures in healthcare in the AU, like Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, RANZCO CEO Dr. David Andrews, Specsavers Optometry Director Peter Larsen, among other notable figures.
Minister Hunt described the programme as a potentially huge, and noted that diabetic retinopathy is a major issue that affected the quality of life for those suffering from diabetes. He says that it was, quite literally, made the difference for diabetics, as it determined whether they could see, as well as how good their physical and mental health was, due to the fact that impaired vision can be hugely damaging for people’s personal situations. Hunt noted, that the government could do something about it, and this is what makes the programme so important.
Initial funding for the Keep Sight programme will be acquired from a five-year annual commitment from Specsavers, alongside a government grant, both valued at $1 million each, with the goal of providing eye care to the approximately 600,000 diabetic Aussies who neglect to book an eye test Loftus, or are outright unable to.
Any Aussie that’s registered on the NDSS (National Diabetes Services Scheme), will now periodically receive reminders to get an eye exam, while a companion app will provide them links to their exam results, as well as their NDSS record, which it also keeps track of. DA and Vision 2020 will each provide support, the former will handling consumer engagement, while the latter will deal with the coordination of the eyecare and primary care providers, professionals and specialists.
Professor Peter van Wijngaarden, from the Centre for Eye Research Australia, who was a presenter at the launching, described the program as something that comes once in every generation, a chance to improve the lives of people with diabetes.
In Australia alone, there are about 1.2 million diabetics, 130,000 of which suffer diabetic retinopathy. Current forecasts suggest that, should current trends continue unabated, about 200,000 Aussies will be suffering from some form of diabetes-related vision problem by the year 2030.