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OBA clarifies 4-months glaucoma notification by optometrists

The Optometry Board of Australia has clarified its requirement under guidelines concerning notification of commencement of chronic glaucoma treatment by optometrists to ophthalmologists within four months of doing so.

Such notification was a condition of agreement reached last November to end the legal dispute between the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

In a statement by the OBA on 23 January headed '2014 Revised guidelines for use of scheduled medicines', the OBA said:

"The board published the revised guidelines on 8 December 2014 that included a FAQ and fact sheet. The board would like to clarify that an optometrist endorsed for scheduled medicines who has made a referral to an ophthalmologist within four months of commencing treatment for chronic glaucoma can continue to treat a patient for chronic glaucoma if indicated.

"The treating optometrist is not required to cease treatment at the four month point if the patient has not been able to consult with an ophthalmologist. A clinical record is to be made that confirms the patient is still awaiting consultation by an ophthalmologist and treatment for chronic glaucoma can continue.

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