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Australian Vision Subsidies & Assistance

The rising cost of treatments - and especially contact lenses - is preventing many patients from receiving the specialist care and vision correction they require.

Below we have compiled a list of Federal and State based vision schemes and clinics which provide subsidies to people with low incomes, students, health and pensioner cards who require visual aids.

We note that fitting contact lenses on moderate to severe keratoconus is a specialist-only area. While these clinics can provide low cost services, they may not be staffed by specialist contact lens fitters for keratoconus.
A poorly fitted contact lens can do further damage to a thinning keratoconic cornea, causing scarring and possibly leading to a premature corneal transplant. 
Please ensure you ask for an optometrist at these clinics with keratoconus training and experience

We have also included a list of state-based patient travel assistance schemes which provide funding for patients requiring treatment outside of their local areas. These can assist patients to travel to capital cities where keratoconus specialists are more easily found.

The lists may not be complete and we would appreciate members contacting us with any information that could assist people with keratoconus obtain lower cost specialist treatments.

You can always ask your eye-carer about bulk billing and deferred payment plans if you are in financial difficulty.

Vision Australia can also provide advice and assistance in accessing these schemes.

The National Disability Insurance Agency can provide information on eligibility criteria and access arrangements. They can be contacted directly by Phone 1800 800 110 (8:00am – 8:00pm Monday – Friday) or Email:

Visual Aid Subsidy Schemes and Eye Clinics


NSW Government Spectacles Program
University of NSW Advanced Contact Lens Clinic

Advanced Contact Lens Clinic. Please send all enquiries and appointments to:

Telephone: (02) 9385 4624

For further Information on the Advanced Contact Lens Clinic: 
Email: Lily Ho, Principal Optometrist,


Australian College of Optometry
(free consultations and subsidised contact lenses for Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card holders. Non-concession card holders have access to low cost consultations and contact lenses)

University of Melbourne EyeCare
Keratoconus Australia has negotiated special rates for members at this student optometrist training clinic.

Operating days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

Contact lens fits are done by students under the supervision of expert keratoconus clinicians:
Jess Chi
Jillian Campbell
Richard Vojlay
Andrew Huhtanen
Erica Barclay
Laura Downie

Rigid contact lens pricing - up to 30% less than RRP for Keratoconus Australia patients on rigid contact lenses.

Consultation Fees:
Medicare eligible - bulk billing ie 10924
Non-Medicare eligible - up to $75 fittng
Imaging - up to $30

Appointments usually 90 mins.

Contact details
Melbourne Eyecare Clinic
200 Berkeley St,
Carlton 3053
Phone: 03 9035 6666

Geelong Region

Deakin Collaborative Eye Care Clinic

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
School of Medicine (Optometry)
Building DD, Level 3
Nicol Drive North
Waurn Ponds VIC 3216

Speciality contact lens fitters: Alissa Maillet or Linda Robinson

To book an appointment at Waurn Ponds email or phone +61 3 5227 8280. 

This is a student training clinic that offers bulk billing on many optometric services. Services that attract a fee are charged at a modest rate to reflect the education and community service focus of the clinics. The clinic has an extensive range of high quality, modestly priced spectacle frames, sunglasses and contact lens solutions for all patient and prescription types. These, together with prescription lenses, are subsidised by the Deakin optometry program.

Eye & Ear Hospital Outpatients

Health concessions and benefits


Spectacle Supply Scheme

Other options
The Royal Brisbane Hospital Eye Clinic has resumed paying for contact lenses in cases where they are considered "high need." They won't reveal what the criteria are, but keratoconus patients should try there if experiencing financial hardship.
QUT Optometry Clinic (Wednesday evening clinic supervised by keratoconus specialists)
Advanced Optometry offers a reduced price on 15mm scleral lenses for pension and health care card holders. 


Elizabeth Eye Care
Spectacle Scheme
Flinders Health Vision


Eye Health Care of Western Australia Speciality Contact Lenses Service

The University of Western Australia now has a speciality contact lens service as part of its optometrist training program. Bulk billing is available for a range of services and discounted spectacles and contact lenses are available.

Appointments for primary care service are available by calling (08) 6488 7429 or emailing at Initial consultations by a student optometrist under supervision can take up to 1.5 hours. See the website for more details.

Spectacle Subsidy Scheme


Statewide Spectacle & Intra Ocular Assistance


NT Pensioner Carer Concession Scheme


Spectacles Subsidy Scheme


Keratoconus patients may also obtain financial support through the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme). For further information, see  NDIS - What Help Can I Get?

State and Territory Patient Travel Assistance Schemes


IPTAAS - Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme
Live more than 100km from nearest treating specialist and specialist treatment not available locally


VPTAS - Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
Patients who must travel more than 100 kilometres one way for specialist medical treatment


PTSS - Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
Live in rural and remote areas and have to travel more than 50km for specialist medical services not available locally.


PATS - Patient Assistance Transport Scheme
For travel greater than 100km each way to an approved medical specialist where treatment is not available locally


PATS - Patient Assistance Travel Scheme
Live within country health service region and travelling more than 100km one way to an eligible medical specialist service


PTAS - Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
Travel more than 75km to nearest appropriate specialist medical service


IPTAS - Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
If referred for medical treatment not available in ACT


PATS - Patient Assistance Travel Scheme
Live more than 200km from nearest approved specialist