Improving eye care for Indigenous Australians in primary health care settings

Authors

  • Andrea I. Boudville MIH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Indigenous Eye Health Unit, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Correspondence: Ms Andrea I. Boudville, Indigenous Eye Health Unit, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Level 5, 207 Bouverie Street Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria, 3053, Australia. Email: andrea@unimelb.edu.au

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  • Mitchell D. Anjou MScOptom,

    1. Indigenous Eye Health Unit, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Hugh R. Taylor AC, MD, FRANZCO

    1. Indigenous Eye Health Unit, The Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • I have no conflict of interest to declare. This work was funded by Harold Mitchell Foundation, Greg Poche AO, The Ian Potter Foundation and The University of Melbourne.

Abstract

Background

This paper aims to assess the barriers and solutions to the delivery of eye care in primary care settings and solutions to improve the use of comprehensive eye care among Indigenous Australians.

Design, setting, participants

Qualitative, mixed method study participants include Aboriginal community members, and health and eye care providers in urban, rural and remote settings.

Main outcome measures

Present evidence for health care providers to better understand and address some of the barriers that limit access to eye care in primary care settings.

Results

Patient perspectives on barriers to accessing eye care and reasons they choose to seek care or not are presented. Health system barriers identified by health and eye care providers are also presented. Additionally, key enablers for improving access to eye care through primary care services are identified.

Conclusion

Primary health care services have an important role in Indigenous eye health. There is a critical role for primary care in the coordination of the patient journey and cooperating with other services to improve access to comprehensive eye care. Through improved provision of primary eye care, monitoring of Indigenous eye health indicators and supporting patients to access eye care, it is possible to close the gap for vision.

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