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Federal Election 2016 Policy Platform

Thank you for your support

In the lead up to Federal Election 2016, the Foundation asked the macular disease community to support the Foundation’s policy platform by completing and sending a letter with its key election concerns to their local candidates.

The Foundation would like to thank all from the macular disease community who advocated the Foundation’s policy platform to their federal election candidates. The Foundation will continue to represent the macular disease community on these important issues with all newly elected and re-elected MPs and relevant Ministers once the Government and the Cabinet are announced.

Download a copy of the letter here.

What can you do to help?

Print and post/email the Letter to candidates with our key election concerns to your candidate.

NOTE: You have the option of including your name and address for a response or leaving this blank.

Download a copy of the letter here.

Macular Disease Foundation Australia is calling on all candidates and political parties to endorse the following:

1. Establishment of an equitable, national, federally funded low vision equipment program to ensure the affordability and accessibility of low vision aids, equipment and technologies for people with vision loss or blindness.

This must include all those under 65 with vision loss who fall outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and those diagnosed after the age of 65. For ten years, successive governments and relevant ministers have promised to address this need. Unfortunately, the NDIS and aged care reforms and state systems have failed to provide a fair and equitable mechanism to support the equipment needs of many with vision loss. We cannot afford any more delays. The cost of such a program will be minimal in comparison to the enormous benefits in independence, productivity and quality of life for people with vision loss.

2. Supporting affordability of health care for the macular disease community. Shifting of costs onto the patient can result in poor outcomes and, at worst, failure to continue treatment, risking irreversible vision loss.

Patients in need must be ensured access to affordable care by GPs, ophthalmologists, optometrists and other allied health care professionals.

Affordability and access to health care requires:
a) Reviewing the freeze on Medicare benefits for evidence-based procedures. The ongoing freeze on benefits only increases the likelihood of higher out-of-pocket costs
b) Amending the Private Health Insurance Act to enable private health insurance rebates for in-rooms treatment of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion
c) Providing Medicare reimbursement for OCT scans which are now internationally recognised as standard of care for the diagnosis and management of a range of macular diseases

3. Funding Macular Disease Foundation Australia for preventive health and chronic disease support to continue our national awareness, education and support services to promote macular disease prevention, early detection and when required, early treatment or low vision rehabilitation.

Find out the candidate and party responses to the Federal Election 2016 Policy Platform:

1. View the candidate list in PDF
2. View the Coalition’s response in PDF
3. View the Australian Labor Party's response in PDF

The Coalition and the Australian Labor Party have both committed to further engage with the Foundation on the issues raised in its policy platform following the Federal Election.