Please view our collection of resources below, which summarise some of the major findings from our research. Our aim is to provide reliable and accessible information on improving eye care in Aotearoa New Zealand. Watch this space!
Vision screening in New Zealand pre-school children: is it equitable?
Early treatment of eye problems is important, and in Aotearoa New Zealand, preschool children are offered a free vision screening test as part of the national B4 School Check vision screening programme. In 2021, we analysed routinely collected data from this screening programme and observed that the B4SC was less accessible and more likely to deliver an incomplete measurement for some groups of children.
Access to diabetes eye care services in Aotearoa New Zealand: who and how often?
Everyone with diabetes needs regular access to eye services. In 2023, we analysed routine data collected from the Ministry of Health over a 15 year period, to better understand who is accessing services and how often. We found that diabetes eye care services are not equally accessible to everyone in Aotearoa. Underserved people include Maori, Pacific, and those living in areas of higher deprivation.
Eye care: what’s the situation in Aotearoa New Zealand?
In 2022, researchers from the Community Eye Health team were commissioned to prepare a detailed report that summarises the state of eye care services in Aotearoa New Zealand. The report highlights that while New Zealand has a solid foundation for good quality eye care services, there is room for improvement in the way we plan and deliver eye care services to ensure all New Zealanders can access the services they need.
Funding: The report was prepared for Eye Health Aotearoa, with funding from Blind Low Vision New Zealand.
Geographic access to eye health services in Aotearoa New Zealand: which communities are being left behind?
In 2022, Community Eye Health researchers published their research reporting how far New Zealanders need to travel to reach their closest eye care provider. The research showed that people living in the most deprived areas of New Zealand sometimes have the longest distances to travel to eye clinics. To achieve equity in eye care, we need to make these services more accessible.
Funding: This research was undertaken with funding from Blind Low Vision New Zealand.
Should Aotearoa New Zealand fund free “eye health checks” for people over 65?
In 2020, the Government of Aotearoa New Zealand proposed free annual “eye health checks” for New Zealand’s ~700,000 SuperGold card holders aged ≥65 years. To assess the evidence for this policy, we conducted a systematic scoping review of primary eye care services in Aotearoa New Zealand and ten similar high-income countries. We found that most of the countries included in the review provided subsidised eye examinations for older people. New Zealand was the only country that did not provide any eye care services for older people.
Funding: This work was supported by Blind Low Vision New Zealand.