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Long-term transformational agenda for optometry launched

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Optometry Australia today released its 20-year vision for optometry in Australia. Optometry 2040 taking control of your future – has been developed after extensive collaboration with members, stakeholders and key sector influencers throughout Australia.

The 20-year agenda aims to create a plausible, sustainable future for optometry and primary eye health care.

National President, Darrell Baker said: ‘Optometry 2040 will be used to drive reform in government policy, regulation and education – to realise preferred futures for optometry and eye health identified through comprehensive, nation-wide consultations. It will also guide Optometry Australia to best serve our members and the sector.

‘To achieve this, Optometry 2040 recommendations will become front and centre of our strategic planning so that we can start actioning the programs required to support members and to transform our sector in this fast-changing world.’

Darrell explained that by 2040 clinical eye care, the practice of optometry and the way consumers collaborate in their health care decision making will be very different than it is today.

‘This change is being driven by demographic, technological, economic, government, and societal forces. Practice models, working conditions, clinician training requirements, patient eye care and communications need to evolve too.

‘As a sector we must adapt to create a future in which optometry remains a valuable health care profession improving population eye health. Optometry 2040 provides this important blueprint – a strategy that any government body or organisation involved in optometry can use to confirm their future direction.’

Top trends shaping optometry’s future

The top trends shaping optometry’s future as highlighted in Optometry 2040 are:

  1. Consistently evolving technology – including the growing use of artificial intelligence, mobile and wearable devices.
  2. Evolving scope of practice – ensuring our highly skilled optometry workforce is effectively meeting community need, not just now but in 20 years’ time.

  3. Consumer centric care with high consumer participation – digital communication will see patients becoming more heavily involved in their own health outcomes.

  4. Big data driving decision making – greater access to data will help deliver improved efficiencies and productivity at both a system and practice level.

  5. Alternative models of funding – the need for new approaches potentially drawing on multiple sources, will become paramount.

  6. Changing demographics of the workforce – the Australian optometry workforce is growing quickly, becoming more female and younger, requiring greater workplace flexibility.

  7. Changing social demographics – an ageing population will result in escalating rates of chronic disease which will see the role of optometrists integrating across health care providers.

To support the realisation of a preferred future where optometry embraces these trends to support ready access to quality, comprehensive, and well-integrated eye care, Optometry Australia has committed to a number of priority actions. These include mapping actions necessary to support the evolution of the profession’s scope of practice, and providing the profession with an online CPD institute to provide flexible access to a diversity of quality CPD.

A full copy of the report is available here.

View the Optometry 2040 video here.

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