Regional Eye Health Program

Regional Eye Health Coordinators (REHC) play a very important role in the holistic care of our communities by way of providing Eye clinics to Aboriginal people in Wellington and outreach centres.

The eye health program was developed in 1999 in conjunction with AH&MRC, RFDS , ICEE and VisionCare NSW who realised there was a vision problem in the Aboriginal Communities and thus the position of REHC was created.

There are 7 REHC positions in NSW and the catchment areas are very large which require the Eye Health Coordinators to undertake extensive travel to coordinate these outreach clinics to the communities.

The towns that the WACHS Eye Health Coordinator (Phyllis Dennis ) covers are Baradine, Bathurst, Condobolin, Coonabarabran, Cowra, Dubbo ,Dunedoo, Forbes, Gilgandra, Gulargambone , Kelso, Narromine, Nyngan, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Peak Hill, Trangie, Warren as well as Wellington.

The Eye Health Coordinators aim is to provide/deliver culturally appropriate eye health clinics and school screenings to Aboriginal people in WACHS catchment area especially those people that have difficultly in accessing such services due to limited opportunities.

Appropriate and accessible eye care programs for Aboriginal people are important, given the largely preventable rates of visual impairment.

REHC enable access to Eye health for Aboriginal people by

  • Facilitating culturally appropriate outreach clinics
  • Engaging Ophthalmologist that bulk bill
  • Ensuring rural and remote areas receive equitable level of service
  • Networking – to enable the Eye Health program to grow
  • Attempt to overcome barriers for Aboriginal people to access Eye health.
  • Recalling people when due
  • Recalling Diabetic people annually for Diabetic Retinal review.

By coordinating school screenings, a Child's vision problems can be detected at an early age which is important to avoid more serious eye problems occurring.

Some visually impaired people can be corrected with a pair of spectacles; this is part of the Eye Health Coordinators role as well, which is part of the holistic primary health care process which is working towards "Closing the Gap".

 

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