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Optometry Australia invites members with experience in providing optometry services to aged care facilities to express interest in joining a new Advisory Group. 

The Aged Care Royal Commission reiterated the importance of ensuring that aged care residents have access to visiting allied health professionals, including optometrists, as part of their care plans. 

While the gap in eye care provision for aged care settings has reduced over the past decade, there remains a gap in access to eye care services for elderly patients with limited mobility. Providing timely and affordable access to eye care for elderly Australians, including those in residential aged care, not only enhances their health and wellbeing but can reduce the potential for falls, avoidable hospital admissions, and the need for other forms of specialist care.  

In the face of an ageing population, Optometry Australia recognises the importance of understanding this changing landscape, and advocating strongly for the role of optometry in caring for aged care residents. This includes ensuring that funding systems, including Medicare, meet the true cost of providing these services, such as outlined in our 2023-24 pre-Budget submission; and that regulatory systems such as the Aged Care Act do not establish unnecessary barriers for providers.  

Optometry Australia is strongly committed to supporting improved eye health outcomes for aged care residents, and is seeking to establish an Aged Care Eye Health Advisory Group to provide invaluable guidance and support in our work within this area.  

About the Advisory Group 

The role of the Optometry Australia Aged Care Eye Health Advisory Group is to: 

  1. Provide Optometry Australia with expert advice, information and guidance on key policy issues related to optometric services delivered within aged care. 
  2. Engage with and communicate Optometry Australia’s activities to the wider aged care sector, where relevant. 
  3. Support Optometry Australia’s advocacy for policy positions and initiatives as appropriate.

Optometry Australia will appoint five members, plus the Chair, to the Advisory Group. The Advisory Group meets virtually at intervals agreed upon by the group and as demand arises.  

Advisory Group members must commit to participate as members of Optometry Australia, not as representatives of other organisations or committees with which they may be involved. 

How to express your interest 

Please submit your expression of interest to by COB Sunday 18 February 2024. 

In 500 words or less, expressions of interest should detail your experience in aged care optometric services, and highlight where you have relevant experience in the following areas: 

  • Delivering aged care optometry services within residential and other settings.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration, including with ophthalmologists, GPs, and other allied health practitioners to enable patient-centred care.
  • Experience across geographic settings (urban, regional, rural and remote).
  • Providing strategic advice and/or developing policy.

 Opportunities to build capacity in early career optometrists will also be sought.  

This is an important opportunity to contribute to Optometry Australia’s efforts to ensure sustainable delivery of eye care to Australia’s ageing population. We look forward to receiving your expression of interest. 

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.