AMA submits revised Code of Conduct to Medical Board

The Australian Medical Association has submitted a revised draft Code of Conduct to the Medical Board of Australia – Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia (2018).

The president of the AMA, Dr Tony Bartone, said on 7 August the document is “very important” for the medical profession and for patients, and that all doctors must have the opportunity and ample time to consider any changes, even minor changes, to the Code.

“It is of the utmost importance and necessity that the board ensures all doctors are aware of these public consultations, and have sufficient time to respond, as they are the ones legally subject to the provisions of the board’s codes and guidelines,” Dr Bartone said.

“We note the board has now extended the public consultation until 17 August 2018.

“The format of the code – both the current code and the draft revised code – contains a combination of clear, explicit statements intermingled with vague, ambiguous ‘motherhood’ statements.

“The clear, explicit statements provide doctors with sufficient guidance to meet the expected standards of ethical and professional conduct, but the more ambiguous statements do not, making it extremely difficult and distressing for doctors who are then unsure how to fulfil their obligations under the code.

“It is vital that the board

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By | August 12th, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Victoria and South Australia considering merger

Optometry Victoria and Optometry South Australia are considering a merger, with discussions reported to be advanced.

If the merger proceeds, the body will be named Optometry Victoria and South Australia. Other state and territory organisations have a joint name, such as Optometry New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory.

The decision on whether that occurs will rest with floor members of both state divisions of Optometry Australia, who will vote on the proposal in October.

The move is largely regarded as being beneficial, as the South Australia office is only staffed part-time while the Victoria office operates full-time and has more resources.

Also, training and CPD events would cater for the combined membership, including availability of larger combined members’ buying power for exhibitors at the annual Southern Regional Congress, now to be renamed O-MEGA19 following it being organised jointly with the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia and Optometry Victoria, as announced last month.

It is understood the national board of Optometry Australia fully supports the proposed merger.

By | August 1st, 2018|Associations|

New CEO for Brien Holden Vision Institute

Ms Yvette Waddell has replaced Professor Kovin Naidoo as chief executive officer of the Sydney-based Brien Holden Vision Institute, while Ms Amanda Davis has been appointed CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation.

Ms Wardell was chief operating officer of the BHVI since 2003 and took over as CEO on 13 July, after South-Africa-based Professor Naidoo’s term ended that day.

Ms Amanda Davis has been appointed interim CEO of the Foundation. She has been its chief operation officer since 2006.

Professor Naidoo was appointed CEO by the BHVI board some months after the sudden death of Professor Brien Holden in July 2015; prior to that, Professor Naidoo was deputy CEO.

Professor Brian Layland is chairman of the BHVI.

Myopia Awareness Week to be global next year

The BHVI and the World Council of Optometry are partnering to promote ‘Myopia Awareness Week’ globally in 2019.

The two organizations are launching a campaign that will target the general public and eye-care sector.

“Our aim will be to raise awareness about the impact myopia is likely to have on the lives of our children, highlight the critical role optometrists play in treating myopia and help keep practitioners informed about emerging trends in myopia control and management,” WCO president Dr Scott Mundle, OD, said.

Surprisingly, almost half the world’s population is expected to

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By | July 19th, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Australia’s membership down 25%

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?

What has

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By | June 24th, 2018|Associations|

AMA elects new president and vice-president

Dr Tony Bartone has been elected the new president of the Australian Medical Association at AMA National Conference in Canberra on 27 May, replacing Dr Michael Gannon whose two-year term had come to an end.

Dr Chris Zappala was elected vice-president, replacing Dr Bartone.

Dr Bartone, the immediate past vice-president of the federal AMA, is a GP from Melbourne and a former president of AMA Victoria.

Dr Bartone spoke about how the dedication and care that his family GP showed to his father during a serious health crisis inspired him to pursue a vocation in medicine.

“I now want to fight for Australia’s doctors so that they can continue to deliver the same quality health care that my father received,” Dr Bartone said.

“General practice has been systematically starved of funding, putting at risk its very survival.

“The AMA, under my leadership, has the solutions.

“A GP President will send a message. Our federal health minister needs to understand the time for rhetoric is over. We need to see real action now.

“We will have a federal election in the next year, and I am ready for any early election call.”

The two-year terms of office for Dr Bartone and Dr Zappala commence immediately.


Five additions to AMA Roll of Fellows

The Australian Medical Association has inducted five new members into

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By | June 3rd, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Australia says it increased media coverage by 33% in past 3 years


Optometry Australia says it has increased its media coverage over the past three years by 33 per cent with much of the coverage focused on raising awareness of eye health.

Editorial coverage since 2014-15 has risen to 363 pieces to date this financial year and the organisation is confident of achieving additional quality articles by 30 June, the association says.

The increase aligns with goals within the organisation’s strategic plan to promote optometry, optometrists and community eye health, the association says.

It also supports Good vision for life’s consumer campaign goals which aim to highlight the need to have regular eye examinations throughout life and to motivate consumers to book an eye examination.


By | May 20th, 2018|Associations|

New chief for Optometry Western Australia

Mr Evan MacRae has been appointed chief executive officer of Optometry Western Australia, succeeding Mr Tony Martella, who was in the role for 13 years. Mr Martella has been appointed to a position with the Australian Medical Association.

The president of Optometry WA, Mr Rob Howie, said Mr MacRae’s career spans the mining, health care, business management and advocacy sectors.

“There are also plenty of opportunities to work more closely with politicians and the business sector – particularly mining and resources – to raise awareness of eye health”, Mr MacRae said.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

IACLE Announces Worldwide Winners of Annual Awards

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators has announced the winners of the 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards, which recognise and reward achievement in contact lens education.

IACLE has also announced the recipients of the 2018 IACLE Travel Awards for members to attend major international meetings.

Through sponsorship from CooperVision, four IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented to IACLE members in each of IACLE’s three global regions.

The 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year will receive their awards at the American Academy of Optometry’s Academy 2018 meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in November.

The winners are IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Professor Lyndon Jones, University of Waterloo, Canada; IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year – Associate Professor Runa Mazumder, Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science, Kolkata, India; and IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educators of the Year – Wim Borst, Deltion College, Zwollen, the Netherlands, and Henri Eek, Deltion College and Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands

The 2018 IACLE Travel Awards recipients are Professor Martha Lucila Márquez García, Santo Tomás University, Bucaramanga, Colombia; Ahmed Sherry, Modern University for Business and Science, Beirut, Lebanon; and Professor Sabrina Lara, Universidad Nacional Villa Maria, Córdoba, Argentina.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

Candidates for AMA leadership

Candidates for the presidency of the Australian Medical Association are: Dr Tony Bartone (Vic), Professor Brad Frankum (NSW) and Dr Gino Pecoraro (Qld).

Vice-president candidates are: Dr Janice Fletcher (SA), Dr Jill Tomlinson (Vic), Dr Xavier Yu (Vic) and Dr Chris Zappala (Qld).

Both positions are for two years, and the election will take place at the AMA National Conference in Canberra on Sunday, 27 May.

By | May 16th, 2018|Associations|

Optometry Australia celebrates its centenary this year

Optometry Australia is celebrating its centenary this year.

A national body for optometrists was established in 1918 under the name The Australian Optometrical Association, bringing together six state organisations.

The six state associations  were New South Wales, which established a state optometry association in 1904, Victoria in 1911, Queensland 1908, South Australia 1913, Western Australia 1916 and Tasmania 1905.

According to A History of Australian Optometry by Barry Cole, (including some excerpts from History of Australian Optometry by Charles Wright, the first national conference of state associations was held in Melbourne on 3-6 December 1918.

Present at the conference were Messrs W Wenborn and WG Kett representing NSW (Australasian Optical Association); WJ Aird, HC Fisher, WHM Browne, W Nott and WP Wood (Victoria Optical Association); AP Greenfield (Queensland Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians); IH Qurban and EC Murrell (South Australia).

The first national president of the AOA was Mr HC Fisher (he was also president of the Victoria Optical Association).

By | February 25th, 2018|Associations|