Nation spends up big on health

Australia spent nearly $181 billion on health in 2016-17, according to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.

The report, Health expenditure Australia 2016-17, shows that health spending grew more in 2016-17 than at any time in the past 5 years.

4.7% increase in spending

‘In 2016-17, health spending grew by 4.7%, compared to an average of 3.1% each year over the past 5 years. This was also the first time spending grew more than the decade average (4.6%) since 2011-12,’ AIHW spokesperson, Dr Adrian Webster, said.

That equated to more than $7,400 spent per person – over $200 more per person than in the previous year.

Governments were the drivers of this growth.

70% of spending funded by governments

“In 2016-17, almost 70% of total health spending was funded by governments, with the federal government contributing about 41%, and state and territory governments 27%,” Dr Webster said.

Total government spending on health grew by 6.8% in real terms in 2016-17, above the decade average of 4.5%.

Tax-revenue spend on health was 27.1%

Due to the relatively rapid growth in government spending, the proportion of tax revenue spent on health increased in 2016-17 following a period of relative stability (rising by 0.8 percentage points to 27.1%).

The rise in total government spending was related to an increase in spending for public hospital services ($1.3 billion in

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By | October 7th, 2018|Business|

2018 Silmo d’Or awards

Silmo announced its list of honorees for the 2018 Silmo d’Or awards at the Silmo d’Or gala event on Saturday 29 September at the Musee des Arts Forains, Paris.

The panel of judges for the jury was led by Belgian designer and interior designer, Michel Penneman.

The Silmo d’Or laureates for 2018 are:
Frame Technological Innovation
L’Amy with McLaren Ultimate Vision
Urband with Eyelet Active
Optic Frame Fashion Trend’
MARNI with ME 2623 from Marchon
Sunglasses ‘Fashion Trend’
Salvatore Ferragamo with SF184S Fiore from Marchon
BBGR Optique with BLUV Xpert and Zeiss Group with UV Protect
Material/ Equipment
Essilor with Vision R-800
Optical Frame Eyewear Designer’
Morá Busoli with Venti
Sunglasses ‘Eyewear Designer’
Impressio with Impressio 609 Vortex
Premiere Classe Prize
Thierry Lasry with Shorty
Jury Special Prize
Nathalie Blanc with Suzanne


By | October 7th, 2018|Trade Fairs|

Cadmium in cigarette smoke may affect visual quality

Exposure to a cadmium, a chemical in tobacco smoke, could make it more difficult for people to see in low-contrast conditions, such as low light, fog or glare, Reuters Healthreports.

Citing research led by Adam Paulsen of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, School of Medicine, which was recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology, Reuters Healthreports that higher levels of cadmium in the blood were found to be associated with diminished contrast sensitivity.

It isn’t just smokers, or those who lead what some might call unhealthy lifestyles, who are at risk for exposure to high levels of cadmium. consumption of leafy greens also can increase cadmium levels due to use of pesticides.

In addition to cadmium, cigarette smoke contains lead, which researchers also investigated for adverse impact on vision.

Both lead and cadmium accumulate in the retina. Volunteers’ contrast sensitivity was examined through an eye test. Instead of making letters smaller and smaller, researchers made successive reductions in the contrast between the letters and the background. Volunteers would start with black letters against a white background. Then, with each iteration, the letters would become more and more washed out.

At the beginning of the study, all 1,983 participants had no impairment. All were retested at five and 10 years after the study started. At

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By | October 7th, 2018|Health|

RANZCO glaucoma-referral pathways launched in New Zealand

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists has launched its glaucoma-referral pathways in New Zealand, for District Health Boards.

The guidelines provide an evidence-based resource for optometrists, GPs and other health-care professionals that outlines referral protocols for patients with, or suspected of having glaucoma.

The need for the guidelines was highlighted by the recent eye-care waiting list backlog affecting DHBs across New Zealand.

Dr Shenton Chew, of RANZCO, led the development of the New Zealand specific guidelines through consultation with glaucoma sub-specialists.

New Zealand-based RANZCO Fellows and several eye-health-care groups also reviewed the drafts ensuring the guidelines are practical and effective.

The end result is a clinical guideline that will ensure appropriate referral into DHB eye departments for glaucoma.

The guidelines are a part of a series of eye-care-referral guidelines RANZCO has developed for the referral of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and AMD, across Australia and New Zealand.

The glaucoma referral pathways launched on 8 September have been specifically developed for the New Zealand are being available to all optometrists and GPs across New Zealand.

“RANZCO is committed to working collaboratively with optometrists, GPs and other health care professionals to ensure the most effective and efficient patient care and to improve health outcomes for people across Australia and New Zealand,” the president of RANZCO, Associate Professor Mark

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By | October 7th, 2018|Health|

FMO announces new Optrafair Exchange trade fair in UK

The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians has announced that Optrafair, the United Kingdom’s flagship optical exhibition, has been relaunched.The show is scheduled for 30 March-1 April 2019 at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.
In addition to a new theme is a new name – Optrafair Exchange.

The show will incorporate fashion, medical, and optics. Each segment will be covered throughout the show, including new exhibitors and dedicated CET streams.

A completely restructured education program will be coordinated by the FMO with the support of its partners in the sector.

This program covers eight distinct streams: dispensing, contact lenses, orthoptic, refractive, health and lifestyle, technician, clinical optometry, and business.

The FMO is working closely with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, the British Contact Lens Association and The College of Optometrists.

By | October 7th, 2018|Trade Fairs|

UK and Hong Kong to collaborate on new course in ortho-k

A new course being is being launched as part of a collaboration between the British Contact Lens Association and The Hong Kong Academy of Orthokeratology.
The comprehensive orthokeratology continuing education   course will feature a range of online and didactic lectures, laboratory sessions, seminars, and examinations.

The course will share the same 12 learning goals as the exam route OKCE, which is for practitioners who have five or more years of ortho-k practice.
The first 12 experienced ortho-k practitioners in China have already commencaed their studies toward the qualification, which include hands-on laboratory sessions and up to five days attending laboratory sessions, selected didactic lectures at BCLA conferences, case reports, and taking a written and practical exam.
The BCLA has backed the course and plans to launch an extended global rollout of the content via an online digital platform. The OKCE will count for 10 of the 50 points required for Fellowship status of the BCLA.

By | October 7th, 2018|Education|

MDFA’s macular degeneration education sessions

The Macular Degeneration Foundation of Australia will hold education sessions for the remainder of this year:

  • Brisbane, Qld: 13 October, Geebung RSL Club.
  • Brisbane, Qld: 15 October, Queensland Eye Institute.
  • Maroochydore, Qld: 16 October, Maroochydore RSL Club.
  • Noosa, Qld: 17 October, Villa Noosa.
  • Hobart, Tas: 3 November, Grand Chancellor Hotel.
  • Newcastle, NSW: 12 November, Belmont 16s.
  • Maitland,NSW: 13 November, Maitland Leagues Club.

Bookings: 1800 111 709.

By | October 7th, 2018|Education|

Ulysses comments …


The ABC saga

The ABC saga continues, with seemingly a daily dollop of drama.

So far the chair and the CEO of Australia’s public broadcaster have been shown the door (to put it politely), but the question remains about the board’s behaviour (or hand-sitting) over the chairman’s attempt to interfere in editorial matters at the volition of a mate who happens to be the former prime minister.

More may yet be revealed in the whole unsavoury episode, but the lesson to be learned, hopefully, is simple: Political pressure can’t be exerted on the ABC by anyone, including a bias-claiming government of the day that may not like a report.


Egg on face

And hasn’t corporate Australia come in for a hammering in the interim report of the royal commission on finance, banking, insurance, etc.

Not surprisingly, just about the whole industry has been shown to be as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

Yet our government leaders in particular tried and tried to convince us a royal commission was not needed, with the Treasurer of the day claiming so on 26 occasions, yes 26 occasions, over  almost two years (actually 600 days) until the demand was so strong he had to give in.

And who was that Treasurer? None other than the latest Prime Minister of Australia, Scott

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By | October 7th, 2018|Comment|