I was pained by the thought that in a first world country like Australia, retinal diseases like diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration, were still the leading causes of preventable blindness due to lack of local service providers. It all started 6 months ago when it came to my attention that people of Yarra ranges suffering from macular degeneration and diabetes had to travel anywhere between 30-100 km to get access to eye injections.
I having keen interest and sub-speciality training in retinal disorders, decided to do something about it and spoke to local referrers to get feedback on the real scenario. Numbers were astounding and the maths was easy. Led by the mantra, "No man or woman should lose sight from a disease that can be treated with something as simple, yet advanced, as an eye injection", I decided to put this beast to sleep.
Soon, community support started flowing and with the assistance of Rod Aziz, owner of Family Doctor Pty Ltd, Jessica Black from Inservio Pty Ltd and Bridget Vallence MP, we found the grounds to make this happen. Sharon Powell, practice manager at Lilydale Medical Centre, was also of utmost support through the endless thread of emails and back and forth communications to help make this vision a reality. Bayer and Novartis have also provided relentless support in setting up the injection service with provision of their valuable time and resources.
I also thank Stephen Giacon, from i-Care Optometrists Lilydale, for his guidance and support through the setup process.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
A clinical communications platform for eye care professionals across Australia
Inservio and iCare Pharmacy can coordinate subsidised medicine access, particularly of antiVEGF injections
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.