Optometry Australia’s membership is down by about 25 per cent since it claimed to have more than 95 per cent of all registered optometrists as members.
OA now claims 80 per cent membership, however some quick arithmetic in the light of figures released by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency figures published in March 2018 indicate it is more like 76 per cent of registered optometrists.
‘Peak body’ used to be a fair claim
Not so long ago, Optometry Australia (or the Australian Optometrical Association or any of the succession of names over the years it chose to operate under) used to make fair claim to being the peak organisation for optometrists in Australia, whether it was dealing with governments, health departments, other professions, the public or anyone else.
However, while that claim may still be a reasonable one, it is starting to look a little shaky.
Optometry Australia itself, in its submission prior to the Federal Budget 2018-19 stated its membership is 80 per cent of registered optometrists in Australia.
An actual membership figure was not provided (it rarely has been), however figures published in March 2018 by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency show there were 5521 registered optometrists in Australia at that time, meaning about 4,200 members of Optometry Australia.
What has happened?
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