In Focus by Andrew McKinnon

OA NSW/ACT Welcome Audrey Molloy to the Team


Members might recall that the Association was seeking to employ an optometrist to work with the existing staff team to enhance our member services and improve the way in which we communicate with members and the public.  We’re delighted to announce that Audrey Molloy has joined the team!

Many of you will know Audrey from her work with the Vision Eye Institute and with our colleague Jim Kokkinakis. Audrey brings a wealth of clinical and business experience to the Association and we are very excited at the prospects her skills will afford the profession.

Could we also add that in the process of interviewing Audrey we also spoke with 3 other very impressive and passionate individuals who were keen to add their skills to the Optometry NSW/ACT mix, and came away from those interviews incredibly impressed by the depth of talent and passion that this profession enjoys. Let us assure you, our future is in the best of hands!

OA NSW/ACT Council Elections - Call for Nominations

We are seeking nominations for Council for the 2017/19 Council term. This is a fantastic opportunity to help set the agenda for your profession for the coming years. You’ll be working with a team of enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who, like you, want to move optometry to the forefront of healthcare in this state.

Nomination forms have been posted to you – if you need another copy just call the office on (02) 9712 2199 or email Nicole. Nominations close Friday 29 September.

Roads & Maritime Services - Correction to Assessing Fitness to Drive Handbook

Roads and Maritime Services have released a correction to the Assessing Fitness to Drive handbook. The changes correct information on the use of telescopic lenses (bioptic lenses) and electronic aids. For the document click here.

New Chairside Reference Guides from CFEH

Our colleagues at the Centre for Eye Health have released two new guides on Pigmented Retinal Lesions and Hypo-Pigmented Lesions. Click on the links to be taken to the guides. Additional Chairside References, Condition Spotlights and information on past and upcoming webinars from CFEH may be found by clicking here.

World Sight Day - 12 October 2017

Get involved with this great event! For more information click here.

YWAM Medical Ships Outreach in PNG

YWAM Medical Ships have many upcoming volunteer opportunities for optometrists to join us on outreach in PNG during the last quarter of 2017 through to May 2018. 

More information about outreaches on board the MV YWAM PNG with YWAM Medical Ships is available on our website. Also, interested members can call (07) 4771 2123 or email our team. 

Volunteering Opportunity in Fiji

One of our colleagues, Matt Bradford, is involved in a support project called Marine Reach Fiji. They are coordinating another Outreach from 8-21 October 2017 and are hopeful of getting an Optometrist to volunteer to join them.  

Costs for the program is $1100 FJ ($720 AUD approx.) plus airfares. The program fee covers the transportation, food, accommodation, uniform and materials used for the outreach and the registration for the professional. (Without promising it, we may be able to talk about any OPHL company provisioning and some offset if we have that option.)

Applications to volunteer in the October Outreach are due by July preferably. Further information about Marine Reach Fiji can be found via their website

Two Fantastic Opportunities to Own Your Own Practice

ONE:  Rare chance to purchase an established practice on Sydney’s Northern Beaches! Whilst only small, this local icon has been firmly established for 20 years now - and there is still plenty of scope to grow the practice. It's a fantastic opportunity for someone to get a start, especially in a pleasant location on the northern beaches. A new owner could buy either walk in/walkout or with a transition period. It is priced as a good entry level practice, small, tidy and modern fit out, well equipped, with a good location and loyal, friendly patients. Priced very attractively, including stock. For more details contact Sean Roffey on 0408 882 111.

TWO:  Make a tree change to majestic Mildura, in the heart of Murray River country! This fantastic business opportunity consists of two practices in close proximity offering the ultimate in life style coupled with professional satisfaction and very good income. Servicing the regional city of Mildura and surrounding communities, the full scope optometry practices are family orientated businesses which have been built on long term patient relationships and a vision for patient care supremacy. For details click here. Find out more about Mildura on their website, here.

Your Association - Our Support for You

Each month we bring you a short article about things that the Association is doing to support members.

We all hope never to encounter these sorts of circumstances, but occasionally they arise.

A member contacted the Association for advice about a patient who had been in to see them about deteriorating vision. It was a consult that never ran smoothly, with the patient giving contradictory answers and being quite obviously deliberately evasive.

When the member started to talk about the possibility of MD, the patient just shut down and wanted nothing more to do with the conversation. Requests to make contact with her ophthalmologist were met with a stern "don’t talk to him".

The member was also concerned that the patient may not have understood the full implications of her condition and was possibly suffering from other mental health conditions. However the patient’s very stern directions not to make contact with any other practitioner had the optometrist worried.

They contacted us for advice.

It was our view that the optometrist should make contact with the patient’s ophthalmologist, even though they had been directed not to do so. In cases such as this, the welfare of the patient over-rides other considerations. This is especially so in instances where the patient’s ability to rationally synthesise information is in doubt. The privacy laws specifically allow contact between a treating patient’s clinicians, so there is little risk to the optometrist from that quarter.

We also advised that the patient should be written to, explaining again the importance of seeking further care and, if possible, the patient’s GP should be brought into the mix. And it goes without saying that the whole matter should be carefully documented in the clinical notes.

And of course, all this was put in writing to the optometrist so that they have a point of defence if they were ever to be challenged on their actions.

As we say, the Association is here to safeguard and enhance your interests. We have extensive expertise, backed by specialist professional resources. That’s why you belong!