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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.

Visual Aid Subsidy Schemes and Eye Clinics

NSW

NSW Government Spectacles Program
University of NSW Optometry Clinic

VIC

Australian College of Optometry
University of Melbourne EyeCare
(specialist keratoconus clinic - bulk billing and discounts for Keratoconus Australia members)
Eye & Ear Hospital Outpatients

Health concessions and benefits

QLD

Spectacle Supply Scheme
QUT Optometry Clinic (Wednesday evening clinic supervised by keratoconus specialists)

SA

Spectacle Scheme
Flinders Health Vision

WA

Spectacle Subsidy Scheme

TAS

Statewide Spectacle & Intra Ocular Assistance

NT

NT Pensioner Carer Concession Scheme

ACT

Spectacles Subsidy Scheme

NDIS

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

NSW

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

VIC

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

QLD

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.

SA

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

WA

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

TAS

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

ACT

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

NT

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