Australians who are living with, or are at risk of macular disease, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in older people will soon benefit from a $3 million investment by the Liberal National Government.
Federal funding will assist with the awareness, support and management of the condition.
As many as one in seven Australians over the age of 50 experience some degree of degenerative retinal eye disease, which causes a loss of central vision and the ability to recognise faces, read, drive and carry out many other critical activities in daily life.
Early detection is vital to help slow progression.
The funding package includes:
- $1.5 million over four years to increase awareness of the risk factors of macular disease; $1 million of this will go directly to Macular Disease Foundation Australia, the peak organisation for people living with macular disease.
- $1.5 million will be provided to appropriate organisations to deliver health professional awareness and education for the management of macular degeneration.
The Liberal National Government is committed to promoting awareness, early detection and management of macular disease.
In 2018 the Government commissioned a National Strategic Action Plan for Macular Disease led by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia.
A focus was placed on the prevention, early detection and treatment of macular disease, support for sufferers, and improved data collection and research into the disease.
Several medications used in the treatment of age-related macular disease are subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. They include Ranibizumab, Aflibercept and Verteporfin.
Specific services in relation to the treatment of macular disease are also available through the Medical Benefits Schedule.
The Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.