By Rhiannon Riches
The vast majority of members would recommend membership of Optometry Australia, with automatic professional indemnity insurance, representation to government and access to CPD among the leading benefits, the national biannual member survey has revealed.
Being a part of the professional body, communications and advice relating to legislative and regulatory information, advice on national registration requirements and assistance to respond to patient complaints are also highly valued by members, the survey revealed.
A summary of results from the survey indicates that remuneration for clinical services, particularly Medicare rebates, and workforce supply and demand balance, particularly given increasing graduate numbers, are areas commonly highlighted as of key interest to members.
The top 10 areas in which respondents considered it valuable for Optometry Australia to lobby are:
- Medicare remuneration (96%)
- new Medicare items (94%)
- regulatory requirements (90%)
- ensuring there is not an oversupply or under supply of optometrists (87%)
- conditions for effective collaboration with other health professionals (86%)
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (82%)
- scope of practice (82%)
- rural and regional optometry issues (79%)
- ensuring that disadvantaged groups have access to eye-care services (79%)
- private health insurance (77%).
The national biannual member survey was conducted throughout October and November 2016. Of the 870 members who responded, there were slightly more females than males.
The survey responses help Optometry Australia refine its strategic plan, including providing member services.