We all deserve the best in primary eye health and vision care. Nearly 50% of us have or will encounter long-term eye conditions yet 90% of all vision impairment is preventable or treatable. Regular eye examinations are key to improving eye health.
Currently, the primary eye care system relies, for sustainability, on cross subsidisation of clinical services by the sale of optical appliances. Whilst most optometry services attract a public health system rebate, this rebate is well beneath the average real cost of providing clinical care. Whilst patients may be charged an additional fee, it is frequently unfeasible, in terms of supporting patient access, to charge patients the full gap between a recommended fair fee for the service, and the government rebate.
As patients with private health insurance cover are often more likely to purchase the prescription appliances they require, private health insurance effectiveness (or lack thereof) has a significant impact not only on the sustainability of optical dispensing, but also of the provision of optometry clinical care.
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