The mission of VisionCare NSW is to provide responsive, efficient and cost effective delivery of quality-assured visual aids to those in need throughout the state of NSW.
VisionCare NSW is a not-for-profit company (supported by the University of NSW) which conducts the NSW Government Spectacle Program on behalf of the NSW Department of Community Services, which funds the Spectacle Program. VisionCare NSW has been the Administrator of the Spectacle Program since 1992.
In 1992, the Institute for Eye Research (IER), based at the University of NSW, responded to the NSW Government’s request for expressions of interest to organise and manage an improved service delivery system for low cost vision care services and optical appliances for disadvantaged/needy persons with identified eye care needs in NSW. In September 1992, VisionCare NSW as the successful Tenderer, was appointed as Administrator of the Spectacle Program and since that time has continuously managed the Program under contract, for the NSW Department of Community Services.
Within established funding parameters, eligibility criteria (including a means test) and service guidelines, the Spectacle Program offers persons with uncorrected or under-corrected refractive error the opportunity to improve their vision and lifestyle through the provision of free spectacles. The Program also assists persons in the community who are vision impaired with a range of other optical appliances and low vision aids.
In 2000, with the support of the NSW Department of Community Services, the International Centre for Eye Care Education (ICEE) and VisionCare NSW entered into collaborative arrangements to support ICEE’s Aboriginal Outreach Eye Care Program. This Outreach Program identifies and addresses eye care needs of persons of A&TSI background, particularly those living in rural/remote locations in NSW and to improve access opportunities to the Spectacle Program. (Outreach Program location photo courtesy ICEE)(ICEE Optometrist Anna Morse with patient at ICEE clinic in Danila Dilba Health Centre, Darwin.)
VisionCare NSW has over 650 participating Providers’ (Optometrists and Optical Dispensers) practices throughout NSW (cities, rural, regional and remote areas) to service Spectacle Program clients. Additionally, the Program has four contracted Optical supply Laboratories which make-up approved orders.
Within the Program Provider network there are over 50 registered Program Provider locations which service over 80 rural and remote Aboriginal community controlled health facilities.