The Fred Hollows Foundation has pledged to raise $3 million to construct a new eye unit at Alice Springs Hospital.

All people in Central Australia and Barkly will have access to quality eye health and vision care services through a continuing partnership agreement between Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Inc., Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation, The Fred Hollows Foundation, and the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments.

The partners of the Central Australian and Barkly Integrated Eye Health Strategy will sign a historic Statement of Collaboration in Alice Springs on 8 April, 2010.

"This collaboration will lead to improved eye health care for all people in the region," says Joy Mclaughlin, Manager The Fred Hollows Foundation's Indigenous Programs.

"It’s a great example of what can be achieved by everyone working together."

"Too many Aboriginal people are needlessly blind or suffering vision loss.  We have the chance to turn this around in Central Australia and the Barkly."

An independent assessment of the Central Australian and Barkly regions carried out in 2005, identified the need for an integrated eye health care system to overcome many issues in patient care, including the long waiting lists for eye surgery and the low rates of screening for Aboriginal people.

"Since that time some great work and achievements have been made but we all still need to do more and build on this existing work," says Joy Mclaughlin.

The Central Australian Integrated Eye Health Strategy aims to achieve a coordinated eye health and vision care system across the regions, where eye care is delivered through a multidisciplinary team of eye health and vision care professionals, services and providers offering coordinated services to meet each individual’s ongoing needs.

The signing will be attended by the Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon and representatives of each of the collaborating organisations.

>Find out more about our program in Central Australia.