The annual report of the Optometry Board of Australia for 2016-17 (recently published) shows:

  • 33 notifications (complaints or concerns) were lodged with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency about optometrists in 2016/17.1
  • 1% of the optometry registrant base were the subject of a notification (compared with 1.6% of all registered health practitioners).2
  • Immediate action was taken twice; one case resulted in suspension of an optometrist’s registration while a notification was investigated.
  • One mandatory notification was lodged with AHPRA about an optometrist in 2016/17.
  • 27 notifications were closed.
  • 15 optometrists were being monitored for compliance with restrictions on their registration as at 30 June 2017. Most monitoring cases related to suitability/eligibility for registration.
  • 23 statutory offence complaints were made about the profession – all but one related to alleged advertising breaches.

The chairman of the OBA, Mr Ian Bluntish, says in the report the board worked in partnership with AHPRA to convict a person who held themselves out to be an optometrist.

Of all jurisdictions, Victoria (14 notifications) and Queensland (eight notifications) accounted for approximately two-thirds of all notifications relating to optometrists in 2016-17.