Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Clear vision for new Kimberley eye clinic

The WA Government has invested $4.7 million towards the first permanent Lions Outback Vision (LOV) eye clinic in the Kimberley.

WA Premier, Mark McGowan said the eye clinic would enable residents across the Kimberley to receive treatment and prevention services for serious eye diseases. 

“I am pleased we’ve invested in this initiative as part of our WA Recovery Plan, which highlights how we put patients first and continue to deliver health services closer to home,” the Premier said.

“In particular this is about ensuring we can keep providing these services to more remote and vulnerable communities.” 

He said the LOV Northwest Eye Hub would be staffed by ophthalmologists, optometrists, Aboriginal health workers and nurses to provide care for residents with cataracts, trachoma and glaucoma as well as those with low vision and permanent blindness. 

Health Minister, Roger Cook said the clinic would provide screening and management of diabetic retinopathy, a serious disease responsible for 14 times’ greater incidence of vision loss for Aboriginal Australians than non-Aboriginal Australians. 

He said it would also provide outreach services to Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra, Wyndham and Warmun with specialists travelling from Broome to treat patients in their local hospitals or clinics. 

“We know that 94 per cent of vision loss is preventable, and more than one third of Aboriginal people have never had an eye examination,” Mr Cook said.

“The LOV Northwest Eye Hub will ensure improved access to eye health treatment and disease prevention for some of our most vulnerable communities.

“The LOV team will work in partnership with WA Country Health Service’s hospitals, primary health team, Aboriginal health workers, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and GPs to improve health outcomes across the board for Kimberley communities.” 

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