NACCHO Aboriginal Health News: Queensland’s $5 million funding for world-first project aimed at treating and preventing avoidable blindness

Paddy_Ryder getting his eyes tested1

The  $5 million project will provide education, equipment and specialist support to 27 Aboriginal Medical Services in Queensland.

The Queensland Government has paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by providing $5 million in funding for a world-first project aimed at treating and preventing avoidable blindness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Picture above Essendon footballer Paddy Ryder recently promoting World Sight Day

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the project would take specialist services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through a fully-equipped, 60-foot van.

“This project will leave a lasting legacy in tribute to Her Majesty the Queen,” Mr Springborg said.

“Diabetes affects one in three adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland and can have a debilitating impact on the sufferers’ vision.

“However, most blindness caused by diabetes can be prevented, which is why this project is so important.”

Mr Springborg said the project will provide education, equipment and specialist support to 27 Aboriginal Medical Services in Queensland.

“The Newman Government is committed to providing the best health services at the best time and in the best place,” he said.

“A van equipped with state of the art optical equipment will travel to nine regional hubs where local and visiting eye specialists will treat patients.

“The project will provide a comprehensive screening program to identify at risk clients and screen for diabetic eye disease.

“All 27 centres will be equipped with telehealth conferencing to allow consultations with specialists at Princess Alexandra Hospital and the van also features on board telehealth facilities

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