Vision Australia is seeking optometrists and optical dispensers to join the NSW Spectacles Program. This program reimburses participating practices for the cost of dispensing subsidised glasses to New South Wales’ most disadvantaged residents.
Over the past 4 years, more than 400 optometry practices have provided vision correction to over 120,000 patients through this service. This includes children from low-income families, people experiencing homelessness, families fleeing domestic violence, and Aboriginal communities.
On offering the Program at The Optical Superstore in Albury, Ken says, “We see the value in looking after people who’re disadvantaged, helping pensioners obtain glasses so that they aren’t afraid to come in and get an eye check because of the cost.”
However, there are communities where access to this service is limited. Regional communities around Goulburn, the New South Wales Riverina and New England must travel over an hour by car to find a participating optometrist or dispenser, while patients in Newcastle must travel out of the city to reach a participating practice.
Vision Australia is always working to improve program access and support optometrists and dispensers to be able to offer the Program to their patients. The NSW Spectacles Program team provides administrative and customer service support to both practice staff and patients to ensure the service remains efficient.
“We aim to provide customer service that’s sensitive to every practice’s business model,” says Cecilia Pham, Customer Service Officer at Vision Australia, “At the end of the day, we’re all working as a team to achieve the same goal; access to vision correction regardless of financial status.”
The program can be offered to a practice’s existing patient list, or as a general service, allowing for highly flexible delivery.
For more information about this program, visit www.visionaustralia.org/spectacles or contact the NSW Spectacles Program team on (AUS) 02 9334 3217.
The NSW Spectacles Program is funded by the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services. Vision Australia celebrates four years of delivering this Program this July, with funding continued into 2019.