Members can be in the draw to win one of three Red Balloon vouchers valued at $500 each by participating in the Optometry Australia Biennial National Members Survey. The survey, which closes on 1 September, is a vital means of gathering information about members’ perspectives and experiences, and workforce patterns.
The nation-wide survey, which is conducted every two years, takes about 30 minutes to complete.
It is being conducted in partnership with the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service (PHCRIS). PHCRIS keeps all responses and personal data confidential, and all data provided to Optometry Australia by PHCRIS are anonymous.
The survey has been emailed by PHCRIS to all members, who are advised to check their email inbox for messages dated 4 August.
Optometry Australia has developed a calculator that supports practitioners in determining a fair fee for their services or procedures that fall outside Medicare. It is available only to members, on Optometry Australia’s website.
The calculator settings can be adjusted to account for variables including the time taken to perform any service or procedure, the loan amount on relevant equipment purchased, interest rate, relevant business costs such as rent or electricity, and relevant consumables such as lavage needles.
Explore the fee calculator.
Collin Medal award winner announced
David Atchison joins a group of esteemed peers, as the winner of the H Barry Collin Research Medal for 2014. Professor Atchison will be presented with the medal and deliver a lecture at Southern Regional Congress in 2015.
He is a professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at Queensland University of Technology, and his research interests include ophthalmic and visual optics, and colour vision. Highlights of his research have included understanding how the shape of the retina and peripheral optics of the human eye are affected by direction in the visual field.
Professor Atchison has co-authored two books, published 160 papers in refereed journals, and has more than 25 years of teaching experience. Previous award recipients include the medal’s namesake H Barry Collin (1977), Brien Holden (1988), Gerald Westheimer (2009), John Pettigrew (2010), Anthony Adams (2011), Donald Mitchell (2012), and Robert Hess (2013).
Welcome to Optometry Australia
In early May the National and State Boards of Optometrists Association Australia announced that they had taken the positive initiative to refocus the Association’s direction and signalled a shift in our strategic direction including a name change to Optometry Australia.
Today we unveil our new logo and our federated organisation’s logo hierarchy, accompanied by our Aspiration Statement which articulates our identity, beliefs, mission and values. READ MORE
Optometric workforce oversupply
Independent researchers have found that if demand, services and graduate numbers continue as expected, the optometric workforce in Australia will more than double over the next two decades.
Optometric supply and demand in Australia: 2011-2036 forecasts a significant oversupply of optometrists under nine different scenarios of service demand.
The major workforce report, commissioned by Optometry Australia, forecasts a significant oversupply of optometrists by 2036 but starting from 2016. READ MORE
Federal Budget: Answers to your questions
Optometry Australia has provided answers to 35 frequently asked questions about the implications for optometry in the Federal Budget.
The questions and answers together with a message from the national president, Andrew Harris, were sent to members on 16 May.
In his message, Mr Harris noted that the removal of the Medicare fee cap was a historic victory that gave optometrists the opportunity to choose to charge a fee for services that better matched the cost of providing them.
Federal Budget announcements
The Federal Budget outcome has been tough across the health professions, including our own. There were four main outcomes for the profession. All are indicated to commence 1 January 2015, apart from the changes to indexation. READ MORE
New name and direction for Association
Optometrists Association Australia (OAA) has changed its name in line with its commitment to refocus its resources on strengthening and protecting the optometry sector.
The National and State Divisions have unanimously agreed to play a much more visible and high profile role than they have previously in areas such as government lobbying and advocacy, highlighting eye-health issues and promoting optometry to consumers and the health care sector.
The Association is now ‘Optometry Australia’ at the national level, and the six State Divisions have changed their names accordingly, i.e. Optometry Victoria, Optometry New South Wales/ACT, Optometry Queensland/Northern Territory, Optometry Western Australia, Optometry South Australia and Optometry Tasmania. READ MORE >
Opportunities for optometry in Commission of Audit recommendations
Optometry Australia is carefully examining the recommendations of the Australian Government’s Commission of Audit, released on 1 May.
National CEO Genevieve Quilty reviewed the recommendations relating to the health profession within hours of the Commission of Audit release.
‘There may be opportunities for the profession of optometry if the government adopts some of the health-related recommendations,’ she said. READ MORE
We can help you with your AHPRA audit
AHPRA audits of optometry are now underway. If you are audited you will receive an AHPRA audit pack in the mail (update your AHPRA contact details) and have four weeks in which to complete the audit. You can email Optometry Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide you with a certificate of your accredited CPD undertaken during the audit period. For more information on the audit, visit the AHPRA website and read the OAA factsheet that helps members with the audit.
Practice Notes on professional indemnity insurance and risk management
Optometry Australia has released two new Practice Notes: one on professional indemnity insurance and risk management, and the other a risk management check-list.
All registered health practitioners including optometrists must hold professional indemnity insurance. The first Practice Note explains how professional indemnity insurance works, outlines how your Optometry Australia policy protects you, and discusses how you can reduce your risk of an insurance claim through good risk management in your practice.
The risk management check-list will help you identify, analyse and evaluate medico-legal risks in your practice.
View the Practice Notes.
The new interactive Australian Optometry Online
All the important profession and industry news is now available online in a new interactive experience. From the latest clinical research through to important policy and professional updates you will find it all as it happens at www.australianoptometry.com.au.
Progressive Lenses Product Guide 2013 now online
Lenses provides a detailed and illustrated Specification Table for Progressive Lenses. It is a valuable ready reference for practitioners and practice staff seeking a one-stop guide to products. Click here to download the latest Progressive Lenses Product Guide.
Mentoring for Optometry Australia members
Optometry Australia has established a National Mentoring Program to provide opportunity for members to support other members develop professionally. The Program will draw together and support pairs of optometrists with similar practice interests but differing levels of experience. If you would benefit from the support of an experienced optometrist to develop your professional life or would like to draw on your experiences to support others find out more here
OBA revised guidelines on treatment of glaucoma
The Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) has approved and released a revised version of Optometry Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines. The OBA revised guidelines enable endorsed optometrists to initiate and implement management, in the form of eye-drops, for patients diagnosed with chronic glaucoma. This significant regulatory change aims to increase quality care choices for the community, particularly in settings where access to ophthalmological care is limited. We encourage members to read the OBA media release, guideline and fact sheet available on the OBA website.
Keep giving our Facebook page the thumbs up
Optometry Australia has set up a Facebook page just for you. Our member Facebook page is a new and exciting way for you to connect, share and engage and keep up to date with the latest news, events and industry happenings. Visit our page at www.facebook.com.au/OptometristsAssociationAustralia and give us the thumbs up by pressing the 'like' button to become part of our online member community.