Eye Examinations for Isolated New Zealanders
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.
Establish a 'New Zealand Vision Bus' to deliver funded comprehensive eye examinations to key groups like geographically isolated communities, those in lower socio-economic communities, children, and high-risk groups.
It is estimated that the cost of a bus of this sort would be $1.3 million total for a five-year period, breaking down as follows:
Year 1 - $688,000
Years 2 – 5 - $143,000 per year