The findings from New Zealand’s first comprehensive Eye Health situation analysis were shared in a report released last month, an important step that will support future planning and the delivery of people-focused, integrated services.  Eye Health Aotearoa commissioned the Eye Care in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022- Eye Care Situation Analysis Tool Report which was prepared by Pushkar Silwal, Renata Watene, and Associate Professor Jacqueline Ramke with the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Auckland. The report considered New Zealand’s Eye Care situation in Q1 2022 against 178 questions in the World Health Organisation’s Eye Care Situational Analysis Tool (ECSAT).

What is the ECSAT report and why is it needed?

The ECSAT, or Eye Care Situational Analysis Tool, assesses and summarises key areas of Eye Health and identifies aspects that are well developed, and provides recommendations for possible actions for areas that require improvement, or need to be established. The ECSAT was revised by the World Health Organisation in 2021 to enable countries to conduct an eye health situation analysis and provide support for future planning.

Why is this report important?

This report provides a summary of the key aspects of the Eye Health situation in New Zealand in 2022. The ECSAT recognises that to establish integrated eye care, that puts people at its heart, countries require an understanding the areas of their eye care services that need to be developed and improved.

The New Zealand ECSAT report is significant on a global scale, as it’s the first time that the 2021 World Health Organisation’s Eye Care Situation Analysis Tool has been utilised by an advanced health economy to conduct an eye health situation assessment.

Key findings on New Zealand’s Eye Care services

The report found that in New Zealand, broadly the areas of Eye Health Quality, Workforce, and Infrastructure are well developed, or in need of only minor strengthening, whereas the areas of Leadership and Governance, Financing, and Information, need major strengthening. Key aspects identified as needing major strengthening, or needing to be established, are listed below.

Areas of Eye Health in New Zealand that need major strengthening:

  • Leadership, co-ordination, and coalition-building for eye care
  • Equity of eye care services coverage across disadvantaged population groups
  • Primary level eye care services integrated into primary health care
  • Community-delivered eye care services
  • Integrated paediatric eye care services
  • Integrated cataract surgical services
  • Integrated diabetic eye care services
  • Integrated refractive and optical services
  • Integrated low-vision and vision rehabilitation services
  • Population covered by eye care financing mechanisms
  • Health systems data on availability and utilisation of eye care services
  • Information on outcomes and quality of eye care services
  • Population-based data on prevalence and trends of eye conditions and visual impairment
  • Use of evidence for decision-making and planning

Areas of Eye Health in New Zealand that need to be established:

  • Eye care integration into legislation, policies, and plans

Read the full report here

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