By Genevieve Quilty
Chief Executive Officer
Leadership of the profession’s regulatory board has passed to South Australia based optometrist and former national president of Optometry Australia, Ian Bluntish.
We thank retiring OBA chairman Colin Waldron for his tireless dedication since 2009, and retiring members John Davis and long-time community members Lawson Lobb and Peta Frampton. Their contributions and those of their fellow OBA members are vital to the success and future development of our profession.
We also welcome the reappointment of Jane Duffy, Derek Fails and Gary Fitzpatrick, and the new appointees Associate Professor Daryl Guest and Dr Ann Webber.
Despite these three-year appointments, the future of profession specific regulation is under a cloud. A review of national registration is underway with a core recommendation to health ministers to collapse nine of the regulatory boards, including the OBA, into one super board in the name of cost efficiencies.
Optometry Australia is strongly opposing this move as we firmly believe that this will be a retrograde step and if enacted, would see the slowing of progress in efficient and effective regulation for our profession. READ: Snowball review of National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
Registrants have seen their annual fee reduced and not increased over the past three years, so under the current model of profession specific regulation cost efficiencies are already being made.
Optometry Australia has also been busy representing members at an all-day stakeholder’s meeting on the MBS review in July. These reviews, three in total, will examine our schedule, compliance matters, and how government funding supports patients with chronic disease.
There are likely to be opportunities for members to comment on all three review elements so we encourage all members to stay tuned to our website and communication channels to provide comment as we develop submissions in these areas.
August is also a busy time for CPD across the country with WAVE in Perth and TLC in Hobart. I look forward to seeing many of you at these important events.