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Outreach Program:EESS

Increasing access to ear surgery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged zero to 21 years, and eye surgery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for all ages, in rural and remote areas.

The Eye and Ear Surgical Support (EESS) program expediates access to surgical interventions to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who require eye surgery (largely cataracts) and/or ear surgery for conditions caused by middle ear infections (Otitis Media). The EESS is part of Indigenous Australian’s Health Programme (IAHP), alongside Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program (MOICDP) and Healthy Ears – Better Hearing Better Listening (HEBHBL) Program.

EESS Objectives:
The EESS breaks down barriers to accessing consultations and surgery by:

  • Removing financial barriers for clients and their carers by covering the costs of accessing consultations and surgery. This includes transport to and from appointments as well as meals and accommodation if required.
  • Providing care coordination for clients to ensure they can attend their appointments and or surgery.
  • Removing financial disincentives experienced by health professionals when delivering outreach services, and covering the costs such as travel, meals and accommodation.
  • In the case of ear surgery, making funds available to support surgical services for clients with acute or chronic otitis media and its direct outcomes.


  • Domestic travel, meal and accommodation support and other incidentals for health professions
  • Domestic travel, meal and accommodation support for other incidentals for eligible patients and their carer
  • Pre and post consultations for the surgery
  • Hospital and anaesthetic fees (not including surgery fees – surgery should be bulk billed)

The Department of Health uses the Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2019 classification system to determine eligibility for service locations across Australia. Services supported through the VOS are delivered in MM 2 (regional centres) to MM 7 (very remote communities). Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients may also be provided in MM1 locations.

  • Patients identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Patients live in Victoria within MMM 3 – 7 location
  • Patients require eye surgery (largely cataract)
  • Patients require ear surgery caused by middle ear infections (Otitis Media)

EESS Impact

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