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Close the gap for vision: The key is to invest on coordination

Authors

  • Ya-seng (Arthur) Hsueh PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
    • Correspondence: Dr Ya-seng (Arthur) Hsueh, 4th Floor, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia. Email: ahsueh@unimelb.edu.au

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  • David Dunt MBBS, PhD,

    1. Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
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  • Mitchell D Anjou MSc Optom,

    1. Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
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  • Andrea Boudville MIH, BSc,

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

    1. Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

Objective

The study aims to estimate costs required for coordination and case management activities support access to treatment for the three most common eye conditions among Indigenous Australians, cataract, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy.

Design

Coordination activities were identified using in-depth interviews, focus groups and face-to-face consultations. Data were collected at 21 sites across Australia. The estimation of costs used salary data from relevant government websites and was organised by diagnosis and type of coordination activity.

Setting

Urban and remote regions of Australia.

Interventions

Needs-based provision support services to facilitate access to eye care for cataract, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy to Indigenous Australians.

Main outcome measures

Cost (AUD$ in 2011) of equivalent full time (EFT) coordination staff.

Results

The annual coordination workforce required for the three eye conditions was 8.3 EFT staff per 10 000 Indigenous Australians. The annual cost of eye care coordination workforce is estimated to be AUD$21 337 012 in 2011.

Conclusions

This innovative, ‘activity-based’ model identified the workforce required to support the provision of eye care for Indigenous Australians and estimated their costs. The findings are of clear value to government funders and other decision makers. The model can potentially be used to estimate staffing and associated costs for other Indigenous and non-Indigenous health needs.

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