Policy team members (L-R) Kirsty Machon, Simon Hanna, Tin Nguyen and Patricia Kiely
By Kirsty Machon
National policy manager
Optometry Australia’s policy team, including our CEO Genevieve Quilty, has attended important meetings with key health-care decision-makers in Canberra this month.
We met with the Australian Department of Health to put the case for improving the value of some items on the MBS for optometrists and their patients, and to discuss optometry’s participation in the current national review of the Medicare schedule.
The team provided comment to the department about new funding arrangements for the Visiting Optometrists Scheme, to ensure state-based fund-holders are effectively communicating with providers of eye health services under the scheme, and to reiterate our support for the continued funding of this important program. The program is currently funded to June 2017.
We also met with representatives from the Australian Medical Association, sharing views and ideas about the ongoing efforts to stop the freeze on Medicare rebates, and the government’s plans to improve the quality of private health insurance policies.
The Optometry Australia policy team continues to work on behalf of optometrists to progress important and emerging national issues affecting eye care.