Ear and Eye Health
People from refugee-like backgrounds may not have had an assessment of hearing, vision and oral health in their country of origin. Low vision and blindness are recognised as one of the major public health problems worldwide. Eighty per cent of visual impairment, including blindness, is avoidable. An estimated 80% of people in the world with moderate to profound hearing impairment are from low and middle income countries (LMIC). Eighty per cent of hearing impairment worldwide is due to chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM), and 90% of such cases are in the developing world. In Australia, rates of CSOM and cholesteatoma in the adult refugee population are much higher than that documented in broader Australian population.
For information about ear and eye health care for refugees and people seeking asylum, please see the Refugee Health Guide hearing, vision and oral health page.
Victorian Eyecare Service (VES)
The Victorian Department of Health, through the Victorian Eyecare Service, (VES) allows eligible Victorians to receive subsidised glasses, contact lenses and visual aids. During this time over two 2 million Victorians experiencing disadvantage have benefited from the service.Visit
Australian College of Optometry (ACO)
Australian College of Optometry (ACO).Visit
Please click here for clinical locations on the Australian College of Optometry website.Visit
Rural and Regional (VES)
For Victorian Eyecare Service (VES) participating optometry practices in regional Victoria call 1300 303 125 or (03) 9349 7434.Visit
Eye Health, Vision and subsidised glasses for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Victoria – 2014View Document
Health Translations Directory
Health Translations Directory has a range of translated resources available on ear, nose and throat health.Visit
The Vision Initiative
An integrated eye health promotion program which aims to prevent avoidable blindness and address the impact of vision loss in Victoria. Managed by Vision 2020 Australia (which is the National peak body for eye health) and funded by the Victorian Government, the Vision Initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and getting regular eye examinations, particularly to those at most risk in Victoria.Visit