Genevieve Quilty, CEO Optometry Australia, and Geoff Pollard, NEO Glaucoma Australia, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
By Rhiannon Riches
Glaucoma Australia and Optometry Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards working together to promote the roles of both organisations in the collaborative care of people with glaucoma.
The MoU was approved by the Glaucoma Australia Council of Management and Optometry Australia’s National Board and signed on 27 October.
The Glaucoma Australia Optometry Liaison Committee, consisting of Tony Gibson, Professor Algis Vingrys, Professor Barry Collin, Graham Lakkis, Ken Thomas, Max Astri, Michael Yapp and Dr Philip Anderton, helped draft the MoU’s key objectives, with assistance and advice from Optometry Australia.
The MoU is a bilateral initiative between both organisations following the Optometry Board of Australia court settlement last year confirming the merits of collaborative care in the guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
It is envisaged that strengthening the relationship between organisations will yield greater understanding of the roles of optometry and Glaucoma Australia as they seek to increase glaucoma detection in the community.
‘This is especially important for the estimated 150,000 Australians with undetected glaucoma who remain at risk of progressive vision loss leading to possible blindness,’ Glaucoma Australia president Ron Spithill said.
Optometrist Tony Gibson, from Eyecare Plus Mitcham, is chairman of the Glaucoma Australia Optometry Liaison Committee and a council member of Glaucoma Australia.
‘This MoU represents an important step for optometrists, in recognising our profession playing an important role in working with Glaucoma Australia in the scope of our practice, for the betterment of our patients with glaucoma,’ Mr Gibson said.
The MoU acknowledges that both organisations share a common desire to reduce the visual impact of glaucoma and to inform and educate the community and key stakeholders about glaucoma as a potentially blinding disease.
Both organisations have agreed to jointly collaborate on activities including advocating for economically sustainable support for the early detection of the condition and the collaborative care of people with glaucoma.
The MoU is being implemented immediately.
Extract from Memorandum of Understanding between Optometry Australia and Glaucoma Australia Incorporated
1. This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) embodies the understandings of Optometry Australia and Glaucoma Australia Inc (‘the Parties’) on bilateral arrangements associated with the eye condition known as glaucoma.
2. The Parties share a common desire to reduce the visual impact of glaucoma and inform and educate the community and key stakeholders about glaucoma.
3. The Parties will work together to ensure that a uniform message is delivered to the public, the health professions, governments and other stakeholders on all issues concerning the provision of glaucoma.
4. Optometry Australia recognises and supports Glaucoma Australia as the peak body in Australia which supports and speaks on behalf of glaucoma patients and their families and promotes public awareness of glaucoma.
5. Glaucoma Australia recognises and supports Optometry Australia as the peak professional organisation representing practising optometrists in Australia.
6. Glaucoma Australia acknowledges the vital role of all optometrists and the advantages of therapeutic endorsement in the detection and management of glaucoma, particularly in rural and remote communities.