By Rhiannon Riches
Optometrists who are advertising their services can use the title ‘optometrist’ but not ‘specialist’, the national registration body has stipulated.
Whether advertising in a local newspaper, a regional hospital, or Yellow Pages online, the Optometry Board of Australia has ruled it unlawful for optometrists to call themselves specialists or imply in their advertising that they are specialists.
In a statement released on 2 July, the OBA said the ruling was in accordance with the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, in force in each state and territory.
‘The specialist titles recognised under the National Law only relate to medical, dental or podiatric specialists,’ the OBA advised.
‘It is not acceptable to claim specialisation or use words such as “specialist”, “specialty” or “specialise”, or any other words deriving from “special”, as it may give the impression that an optometrist is a specialist in a particular area, which is contrary to the advertising provisions of the National Law.
‘However, an optometrist could reasonably say they have an “interest”, “experience” or “predominantly practise” in an area of practice,’ the OBA said.