Vision van a life-changer
A pilot project to test mobile health services across regional WA has been hailed a game-changer by Aboriginal Health Council of WA chairwoman Michelle Nelson-Cox.
The mobile eye health van, run through an AHCWA partnership with the Lions Eye Institute, has visited more than 1200 patients in its first six months on the road, almost half of whom have been indigenous.
Since March it has visited 15 regional communities, including Karratha, Roebourne, Onslow, Port Hedland and Newman.
The Community Compact project seeks to detail how services are currently being delivered, the extent to which mobile services are meeting needs and identifying barriers to efficient service delivery.
Ms Nelson Cox said the van meant isolated patients no longer needed to travel for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
“There are hundreds of Aboriginal people in regional and remote WA who are suffering from preventable eye conditions every day because they don’t have access to appropriate services,” she said.
“Treating these patients on their own country, in a culturally appropriate way, is life changing.”
The van has the capacity to treat 200 patients a week for eye conditions including cataracts, refractive error, trachoma, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It has travelled 13,650km since March.