NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Eye health services for Aboriginal people in the western region of NSW, 2010

Louise Maher, Anthony M. Brown, Siranda Torvaldsen, Angela J. Dawson, Jillian A. Patterson, Glenda Lawrence

NSW Public Health Bulletin 23(4) 81-86 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/NB11050 Published: 13 June 2012

  • Citation

  • PDF

About the author/s

Louise Maher | NSW Public Health Officer Training Program, NSW Ministry of Health, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

Anthony M. Brown | School of Rural Health (Dubbo), The University of Sydney

Siranda Torvaldsen | School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

Angela J. Dawson | Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Technology

Jillian A. Patterson | NSW Ministry of Health

Glenda Lawrence | School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales

Corresponding author

Louise Maher | lmahe@doh.health.nsw.gov.au

Abstract

Aim: To assess the availability, accessibility and uptake of eye health services for Aboriginal people in western NSW in 2010. Methods: The use of document review, observational visits, key stakeholder consultation and service data reviews, including number of cataract operations performed, to determine regional service availability and use. Results: Aboriginal people in western NSW have a lower uptake of tertiary eye health services, with cataract surgery rates of 1750 per million for Aboriginal people and 9702 per million for non-Aboriginal people. Public ophthalmology clinics increase access to tertiary services for Aboriginal people. Conclusion: Eye health services are not equally available and accessible for Aboriginal people in western NSW. Increasing the availability of culturally competent public ophthalmology clinics may increase access to tertiary ophthalmology services for Aboriginal people. The report of the review was published online, and outlines a list of recommendations.