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Optometrists maintain clinical independence in ongoing management of patients with chronic glaucoma under the new guidelines, Optometry Australia president Kate Gifford says.

Further to her communications to members on Wednesday 26 November, in relation to the glaucoma out of court settlement between RANZCO, ASO and OBA, Ms Gifford notes that the outcome occurred independently of Optometry Australia, and that since the settlement was announced, Optometry Australia has been working closely with the OBA to clarify the changes to support optometrists in understanding and enacting the new guidelines.

She says Optometry Australia has already commenced activity on applying for PBS subsidy for glaucoma medications and will keep members updated as this important work progresses.

‘Initial diagnosis and establishment of a management plan for patients with chronic glaucoma will take place within a framework supporting individual relationships between optometrists, ophthalmologists and the patient, while respecting adherence to the referral guidelines,’ she said.

‘Optometrists maintain clinical independence in ongoing management of patients with chronic glaucoma under the new guidelines.’

Further support from Optometry Australia will be provided to members around optometrists’ responsibility in enacting this initial referral pathway.

‘The court settlement means that the RANZCO and ASO challenge to eligible optometrists diagnosing and initiating treatment of glaucoma is resolved, with RANZCO and ASO recognising and agreeing to this scope of practice,’ Ms Gifford said.

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