Advocate for Government to increase funding for Eye Health Awareness, Education, Treatment and Rehabilitation
Our vision changes throughout our lifetime. Many New Zealanders currently don’t have regular eye examinations as they will only see an optometrist if their ability to see is being affected, and many aren’t aware that an eye examination every two years can detect early chronic diseases and save sight. Some New Zealanders, like those who have a Community Services Card, don’t have regular eye examinations.
These hard-to-reach New Zealanders (by geography and socioeconomic outcomes) are less likely to go to an optometrist. These populations may have never had an eye examination before, which is the first step in accessing treatments, supports, and rehabilitation. The 2016 Australian National Eye Health Survey showed that almost two thirds of vision impairment can be fixed with a pair of glasses. We can assume that the situation would be similar in New Zealand.
Advocate for funded eye examinations as a first step to increase equitable access to eye health services for at risk and hard to-reach populations. For example, Māori and Pacific Island communities are known to have a disproportionately high risk of eye disease, and vision loss.