The Commission is now working with the Cataract Clinical Care Standard (CCS) Topic Working Group, consisting of clinical experts and consumers, to develop the draft Cataract CCS. It is anticipated that the Cataract CCS will relate to the care of patients 18 years and over with cataract. It covers the assessment of patients with suspected cataract, cataract surgery where appropriate and postoperative care to complete visual rehabilitation.
This clinical care standard applies to all healthcare settings where care is provided to patients with cataract including primary care, hospitals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services and privately operated eye clinics.
The development of the Cataract CCS follows a recommendation in the Second Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation (2017) to develop a clinical care standard on cataract surgery. The Atlas found that Australia has twice the rate of cataract surgery (8,000 per million) compared to New Zealand, but less than that of France, the Netherlands and the United States. It also reported 1.6 fold geographical variation across local areas, following the exclusion of the highest and lowest results (includes public and private data), and that the rate of cataract surgery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians was 17% lower than the rate for other Australians.
The Commission is currently undertaking a public consultation on the draft Cataract Clinical Care Standard and related documentation. The consultation will close on 5 April 2019.
Following public consultation, the Commission will review all comments and use this analysis to finalise the draft clinical care standard.