Incomplete sentence


Th first line of the first item in yesterday’s ‘Today’s Ophthalmic News’ was incomplete. It should have been:

“Real estate big noise John McGrath on 9 February resigned as a director of optical retail group George & Matilda’s owner IPIC Pty Ltd, leaving the company’s other directorships in place.”

By | February 19th, 2018|Business|

John McGrath resigns as a director of George & Matilda’s owner

Real estate big noise John McGrath on 9 February resigned as a director of of optical retailer George & Matilda’s owner IPIC Pty Ltd, leaving.

Mr McGrath, as well as the eponymous real-estate company he founded, has been under pressure since a report in The Sydney Morning Herald claimed he was in debt to bookmakers William Hill Australia to the tune of $16.2 million.

His listed company, John McGrath Real Estate Limited, has just reported a $25.5 million loss and all other directors, as well as the company’s chief executive officer, are set to leave this coming week, leaving Mr McGrath as the sole director unless he can find two others before the close of business today to avoid being in breach of the rules of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Stock Exchange, which require a listed public company to have three directors.
The share price of MRE has fallen from its $2.10 float price in late 2016 to 42.5c.

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By | February 18th, 2018|People|

NZ optometrist missed brain tumour of six-year-old; prescribed glasses

An optometrist in New Zealand misdiagnosed a six-year-old boy with a brain tumour, instead prescribing glasses. The unnamed boy was left blind in one eye.

It is understood the unnamed optometrist no longer works as an optometrist.

The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner in New Zealand, Ms Meenai Dugga,l found numerous breaches by the optometrist of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, releading her findings on 12 February.

Ms Meenai also found the unnamed optometry practice liable for the optometrist’s inadequate care.

The optometrist first saw the boy in 2014 and did not perform appropriate


By | February 18th, 2018|Legal|

Ulysses comments …


Exceptional eyecare

Would someone please explain what exactly is “exceptional eyecare”.

Seemingly it’s provided by all sorts of optometrists, judging from their advertisements, but your humble scribe can’t work out what it means.

Something I’m missing?



Retail czar Solomon Lew is looking set for a victory this year over the board of Myer, after the department-store group has issued yet-another profit warning due to yet-another decrease in pre- and post-Christmas sales.

It will take a bit of smooching with the other significant shareholders before Solly can show the door to all of the Myer directors as the result of an extraordinary meeting he will call, but it will happen because big and small shareholders are fed up with the board’s performance.

Do I hear “Howzatt” for the soon-to-be-discarded Myer directors?


Market ‘correction’

The so-called “correction” of the share market that started last week is hitting well-run companies (such as JB Hi-Fi), as well as duds (see above).

The explanation is said to be investor disappointment after the company posted a leap in first-half earnings in a weak trading environment but softened

Coming Up

  • SUPER SUNDAY (Optometry NSW/ACT), 11 March, Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney, (02) 9712 2199.
  • VISION EXPO, 15-18 March, Javits Center, New York City.
  • O-SHOW, 14-15 July, Peninsular Central Pier, Docklands, Melbourne, (02) 9450 0765.
  • SILMO SYDNEY, 20-22

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By | February 18th, 2018|Comment|

George & Matilda director owes bookmakers $16.2 million in gambling debt: newspaper

A director of retail optical group George & Matilda Eyecare, owned by unlisted public company IPIC Holdings Limited, has racked up a gambling debt of $16.2 million, according to The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

The director, Mr John McGrath, 54, is primarily the founder and head of Australian Share Exchange-listed-company McGrath Real Australia Limited, and is reported by The Herald as owing the biggest debt in gambling history by a single person to a single company in Australia.

The huge debt is owed to Tom Waterhouse-run company William Hill Australia, and, while a secret until now, has been rumoured in racing circles for some months.

Mr Waterhouse declined to answer questions on the matter, citing responsibility to clients.

McGrath Real Estate Limited was floated on the ASX in 2005 at $2.10 a share, which has fallen to as low as 48 cents. That company’s chairman, most of its directors and its chief executive officer all recently announced their imminent resignations.

Two days after The Herald’s story, Mr McGrath said in an email sent to staff and seen by The Australian newspaper: “The information in the article so ridiculous … I will deal with it and its authors.”

In addition to Mr McGrath, the directors of IPIC are Messrs Andrew Reitzer (chairman), Christopher Beer, Peter Papas and

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By | February 5th, 2018|People|

Australia Day Honours 2018



Dr Mukesh Chandra HAIKERWAL AO, Altona North Vic 3025.
For eminent service to medical governance, administration, and technology, and to medicine, through leadership roles with a range of organisations [including presidency of the Australian Medical Association in 2005-2007], to education and the not-for-profit sector, and to the community of western Melbourne.



Professor Ronald Paul MITCHELL, North Sydney NSW 2060
For distinguished service to ophthalmology as a clinician, particularly in the management of age-related macular degeneration, through research into public health and ophthalmic epidemiology, and as an educator.



Gillian Margaret GALE, Box Hill North Vic 3129
For significant service to children who are blind or have low vision as an educator, and to learning support and education integration programs.

Dr Philip Haywood HOUSE, WA
For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to eye surgery foundations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.

Dr Ross Kenneth LITTLEWOOD, Cottesloe WA 6011. For significant service to medicine as an ophthalmologist, to professional medical organisations, and to the international community of Timor Leste.



Mr Winston Lloyd JONES, Nedlands WA 6009.

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By | February 5th, 2018|People|

Three giants in US to form independent health-care company

Three corporate behemoths — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase — announced on 30 January that they will form an independent health-care company for their employees in the United States.

The alliance is regarded as a sign of just how frustrated American businesses are with the nation’s health care system and the rapidly spiralling cost of medical treatment.

It will also cause further turmoil in an industry reeling from attempts by new players to attack a notoriously inefficient, intractable web of medical practitioners, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies.

It is not clear how extensively the three partners will overhaul their employees’ existing health coverage — whether they would simply help workers find a local doctor, steer employees to online medical advice or use their muscle to negotiate lower prices for drugs and procedures.

While the alliance will apply only to their employees, the three corporations are so closely watched that whatever successes they have could become models for other businesses.

Major employers, from Walmart to Caterpillar, have tried for years to tackle the high costs and complexity of health care, and have grown increasingly frustrated as Congress has deadlocked over the issue, leaving many of the thorniest issues to private industry. About 151 million Americans get their health insurance from an employer.

But the 30-January announcement landed

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By | February 4th, 2018|Business|

‘Bionic’ retina implant to undergo clinical feasibility study in US

A ‘bionic’ retina implant is to undergo clinical feasibility study in the United States.

The study follows the United States Food & Drug Administration’s approval of the study of Pixium Vision’s PRIMA device.

France-based Pixium Vision says the clinical feasibility study should begin in the first half of this year at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Up to five patients who have lost their sight because of atrophic dry AMD are set to be fitted with a ‘bionic’ retinal implant designed to restore some basic visual function. Pixium’s FDA approval comes just a few months after health authorities in France permitted a similar trial there, with five patients set to receive the implant at a Paris hospital.

The PRIMA system, which uses external glasses in combination with the implant, is designed to provide partial restoration of the patient’s visual function through electrical stimulation of retinal neurons, with the sub-retina implanted stimulator replacing part of the degenerated photoreceptors.

More information:

By | February 4th, 2018|Surgery|

Transplanted retinal cells cause swelling to retina; not likely to affect future clinical studies

A patient who underwent transplant surgery using retinal cells derived from artificially-derived induced pluripotent stem cells has suffered a swollen retina, according to researchers from Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital and the Japan-government-backed Riken Institute.

The research team said it is the first time a patient has developed a serious adverse reaction during the clinical research to assess the feasibility of using iPSCs.

Surgeons operated on the patient, who is in his 70s, to remove pre-retinal membrane, deemed to be the cause of the retinal oedema. The team was unable to improve the symptoms despite the administration of steroid and anti-VEGF medication.

Dr Masayo Takahashi, MD, a researcher at Riken who heads the team, said: “We cannot deny the causal correlation with iPS cells.”

Dr Takahashi said the symptom falls into the category of serious cases, as it requires hospital admission for treatment, but stressed that it is “neither a matter of great urgency nor life-threatening.”

The incident most likely will not affect future clinical studies on the transplantation of iPS-derived retinal cells in patients with severe eye diseases, Dr Takahashi said.

The patient’s condition improved after the removal of pre-retinal membrane. The team believes the oedema was caused by a reverse in the flow of a liquid solution containing retinal cells derived from iPS

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By | February 4th, 2018|Surgery|