Scheme sees more kids get subsidised glasses
There has been a sharp rise in the number of children receiving glasses under a government subsidy, according to the Ministry of Health.
Figures released by the ministry indicate that under the Children’s Spectacle Subsidy 28,000 kids had their eyes tested and were given glasses if required last financial year – an increase of around 35 per cent from 2008.
The scheme is aimed at children 15 years or under, but can only be accessed if the child or parent has a cur- rent community services card or a high use health card.
The subsidy can help with the cost of vision tests, glasses, repairs or eye patches.
The most that can be paid is usually $287.50 including GST.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says funding for the subsidy has almost tripled since 2007/08 to reach nearly $6 million a year.
‘‘This extra funding has meant the number of children from low income families receiving the subsidy has grown considerably over the last four years,’’ he says.
Mr Ryall says more than 75 per cent of of the children who had their eyes tested last year required new frames, new lenses or repairs to their current glasses.