Tooth used to restore eyesight in radical surgery

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 more

Eye health training van gets $50,000 boost

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 more

Ophthalmology part of CSIRO ‘roadmap’ to future growth

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 more

Diabetic patients often skip eye exams

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 more

Government to investigate audio-described TV

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Audio-described programs could soon be available on Australian television after the Federal Government established a working group to investigate its implementation.

The move, welcomed by blindness and low vision advocates throughout Australia, will see members of the broadcasting and streaming industries meet with audio description service providers and consumer representatives. Vision Australia lead policy advisor Mr Bruce Maguire said it was a significant step toward making audio-described programming available.

“Audio description services have been available internationally since the 1980s. Television is a very important part of Australia's cultural, recreational and social life where asking someone ‘Did you catch that on TV last night?’ is a regular part of everyday conversation,” Maguire he said.

“Ironically, viewers in the United Kingdom can enjoy audio-described versions of classic Australian programs such as Home and Away and Neighbours. To date, the blindness and low vision community has been excluded from sharing major cultural, sporting and news highlights with their family and friends. As a result of the Government's government's decision, we are confident that this situation will change in the not-too-distant future.”

The working group will identify options to increase access to audio description services, and also investigate potential technology, financial and copyright challenges. 

Additionally, it will consider the results of the audio description trials conducted on the ABC in 2012 and 2016, and evaluate alternatives to legislative requirements and incentives. more

AMA and OBA disagree on proposed changes to Standard

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has outlined its opposition to the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA)’s proposed changes to the Endorsement for scheduled medicines registration standard (the Standard).

The OBA is seeking to remove the list of specific Schedule 4 medicines that optometrists, who hold a scheduled medicines endorsement, are able to obtain, possess, administer, prescribe and supply. Under the proposal, the list will instead be attached to the Guidelines for endorsement for use of scheduled medicines.

However, after the OBA issued a request for public comment on the proposed changes, the AMA released an open letter opposing the change.

“Administrative efficiency should not compromise patient safety. No evidence has been provided to support the claim that patient access to appropriate eyecare has been compromised because the list is attached to the Standard or that removing the list from the Standard will enhance delivery of care,” the letter, signed by AMA senior policy advisor Georgia Morris, stated.

“Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council approval of the Standard and the list is an important measure ensuring that there is additional scrutiny at the highest level of any changes to the list of S4 medicines within an optometrist’s scope of practice.”

However, an OBA spokesperson said having the list of Schedule 4 medicines attached to the Standard was restrictive as any changes to it required Ministerial Council approval.

“The process of seeking Ministerial Council approval involves considerable time and resources. This process is necessary to both remove scheduled medicines that are no longer available as well as to add newly available medicines, and the timeframes involved may inadvertently delay the public’s ability to access up to date medications from an endorsed optometrist,” the spokesperson said.

“The board proposes to publish the list of the medications currently in the approved classes in the Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines. This will allow for a transparent and efficient mechanism to keep the list of medications up to date, while ensuring sufficient consultation with relevant key professional bodies.”

According to the proposal, the OBA’s Scheduled Medicines Advisory Council (SMAC) – a multidisciplinary committee of medical practitioners, pharmacists and optometrists – would monitor the content of the list in each class approved by the Ministerial Council and advise the board when the list needs to be updated. 

Submissions on the proposed changes closed on March 31. more

Fight between optoms and eye doctors

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 more

Essilor launches disaster relief campaign

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 more

Bids for Bausch & Lomb distributor below expectations

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 more

New camera bypasses need to dilate pupils

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 more