Media | State News

Labor slashes vital Indigenous health initiative

11th February 2019

LNP Shadow Minister for Disability Services Dr Christian Rowan has raised concerns about a lack of funding for blindness and visual impairment services among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

This month, the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) Van has partnered with Queensland Health to provide desperately-needed health services to remote and regional Indigenous communities in Queensland after the Palaszczuk Labor Government slashed funding.

"This important partnership will allow the IDEAS Van to continue providing much-needed optical treatments to the locals of Emerald and Gladstone," Dr Rowan said.

"Despite repeated calls for funding and the proven success of the IDEAS Van, Annastacia Palaszczuk has shown no interest in keeping it afloat.

"Thankfully, the Federal Government stepped up and provided funding to keep the IDEAS Van running for another year."

Dr Rowan said 94 per cent of the vision loss in Indigenous Australians is associated with eye diseases that are preventable and treatable.

"The LNP established the IDEAS Van in 2013 with an initial funding of $5 million to address the health gap between Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous residents," Dr Rowan said.

"The Palaszczuk Labor Government's decision to cut funding to vital initiatives such as the IDEAS Van shows dangerous disregard for Indigenous health.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk is clueless when it comes to addressing the health needs of Queensland's remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

"If elected, an LNP Government would prioritise Indigenous health and continue funding for vital initiatives which help diagnose and treat health problems."