The web report includes data on:

  • prevalence and causes of vision loss and blindness
  • detection and screening services
  • treatment services
  • workforce and outreach programs.

It presents data for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, trends, by age and sex, and by state/territory, remoteness area and Primary Health Network.


  • 1 in 9 Indigenous Australians aged over 40 (11%) suffer from vision impairment or blindness.
  • Older Indigenous Australians are 3x as likely to suffer from vision impairment or blindness as older non-Indigenous Australians.

More Prevalence data.

Diagnosis & screening services

  • The % of Indigenous Australians who had an eye examination in the preceding 12 months increased from 13% in 2005–06 to 15% in 2016–17.
  • An estimated one third of Indigenous people with diabetes had not had an eye examination in the preceding 12 months.

More Diagnosis & screening services data.

Treatment services

  • The Indigenous hospitalisation rate for cataract surgery rose by 36% in the last 10 years.
  • Median waiting times for cataract surgery were longer for Indigenous Australians (152 days) than non-Indigenous Australians (93 days).

More Treatment services data.

Workforce & outreach programs

  • Numbers and rates of employed optometrists were highest in Major cities and were very low in Remote and Very remote areas.
  • The number and occasions of service provided to Indigenous patients under the Visiting Optometrists Scheme more than tripled between 2009–10 and 2016–17.

More Workforce & outreach programs data.