China tackling myopia in children

The Chinese government is taking steps to curb the rising number of myopia among children with a new program that aims to reduce the rate of myopia amongst six-year-olds to three per cent by 2030.

Announcement of the program follows President Xi Jinping’s recent remark that the future needs to protect the eye heath of children and ensure they have “a bright future”.

An estimated 36 per cent of fourth graders and 65 per cent of eighth graders in China are myopic, according to the Ministry of Education.

Under the scheme, the aim is to reduce the incidence of myopia among primary school kids to below 38 percent, and the rate among junior and senior high school students to fall below 60 percent and 70 percent respectively.

The programme puts forward staged goals of prevention and control of myopia for children and adolescents, clarifies the responsibilities of families, schools, medical and health institutions, etc, and establishes a national assessment system for prevention and control of myopia.

That was issued by the Ministry of Education, the National Health Commission and six other departments.

The scheme encourages children to spend more time outdoors and orders schools not to leave written assignments to first and second graders.

Limiting screen time for mobile devices, PCs, and consoles is also part of

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By | December 24th, 2018|Education|

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|

ACOD graduates its first cohort of optical dispensers

The Australasian College of Optical Dispensers graduated its first cohort of optical dispensers at a function attended by 71 people in Sydney on 1 June, hosted by ACOD co-directors Messrs James Gibbins and Chedy Kalach.

There were 24 graduates from across Australia present out of the 56 in Australia and New Zealand who have completed the Certificate IV course in optical dispensing at ACOD.

By the time of a planned graduation function sponsored by the Association of Dispensing Opticians New Zealand in Auckland in October, it is expected there will be 30 course graduates in New Zealand.

Specsavers’ Katie Philp, dispensing advancement manager, welcomed the graduates and guests.

The ‘Student Experience’ address was given by Carly Clarke.

After the formal part of the function, the guests moved across to the Aquarium Wharf where they boarded for a harbour cruise for dinner and to view the lights of Vivid.

As the guests were disembarking at the wharf the fireworks of Vivid began to burst overhead, as a spectacular finale!

By | June 11th, 2018|Education|

Patient-question prompter launched by RANZCO and NZAO

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists and the New Zealand Association of Optometrists have jointly launched ‘The Choosing Wisely Patient Card,’ a patient-prompter, designed to encourage constructive questions from patients during eye-care consultations.

The prompter was launched at the RANZCO New Zealand Branch Annual Scientific Meeting by Nelson based ophthalmologist Dr Derek Sherwood. The RANZCO NZ Branch and the New Zealand Association of Optometrists have come together to create “an informative resource for patients receiving eye-health care”.
The patient card was developed by Choosing Wisely, an initiative which aims to reduce the use of unnecessary or unevidenced medical tests and procedures.

Choosing Wisely recognises that not all tests or procedures are helpful for all patients and therefore encourages constructive conversations between patients and health professionals in making decisions. The aim of the Choosing Wisely Patient Card is to help patients feel more comfortable and informed when having conversations with their eye-health care professional about their own eye care.
The patient card encourages patients to start an informed conversation by asking four “important” questions before undergoing eye-health tests:
• Why am I having this test?
• What information will it provide?
• What are the risks of the test?
• What happens if I don’t have the test?
“It is important that patients feel comfortable to ask

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By | June 11th, 2018|Education|

AMA calls on COAG to urgently develop a national medical workforce plan

The Australian Medical Association is calling on the Council of Australian Governments to urgently commission a ‘National Medical Workforce Strategy’ to address significant workforce challenges and implement long-term workforce planning to better meet Australia’s future health care needs.

The call is based on one of the key recommendations of the outcomes report, released today, of the AMA Medical Workforce and Training Summit, which was held in March this year.

The summit brought together more than 80 interested parties to discuss priority medical workforce challenges including the maldistribution of the medical workforce, workforce shortages in some specialty areas, and the lack of prevocational and specialist training places for medical graduates once they have left medical school.

The president of the AMA, Dr Michael Gannon, said the summit was all about providing solutions to the current and emerging threats to producing a medical workforce with the right skills in the right numbers to serve Australia’s growing population, including the needs of rural and regional Australia.

Dr Gannon said the comprehensive report from the summit identifies a range of potential policy priority areas that were strongly supported by delegates from across the spectrum of medical workforce and medical training.

The summit highlighted a number of other key areas for action including:

By | May 6th, 2018|Education|

New Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney

The new Faculty of Medicine and Health brings together dentistry, medicine, medical sciences, nursing and midwifery, pharmacy and public health for an integrated approach to medicine and health.

The new faculty was launched on 30 April, marking a significant milestone in the development of the university’s approach to education and research, bringing together resources to tackle the challenges of 21stcentury health care.

The Faculty of Medicine and Health includes:
  • The University of Sydney School of Dentistry
  • The University of Sydney School of Medicine
  • The University of Sydney Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • The University of Sydney School of Pharmacy
  • The School of Medical Sciences, and
  • The University of Sydney School of Public Health.
It also includes:
  • The University of Sydney Central Clinical School
  • The University of Sydney Children’s Hospital Westmead Clinical School
  • The University of Sydney Concord Clinical School
  • The University of Sydney Nepean Clinical School
  • The University of Sydney Northern Clinical School
  • The University of Sydney, Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, and
  • The University of Sydney Westmead Clinical School.


By | May 3rd, 2018|Education|

More pre-reg optometry students stumble in UK

More pre-registration students in the United Kingdom are stumbling at Stage 2 of the Scheme for Registration with males doing worse than their female colleagues, according to a study published by the College of Optometrists.

In a cohort of 593 enrolled between 1 June 2014 and 31 May 2015, 82% passed Stage 2 by the second attempt. However, that number is down by 15% in comparison with the college’s last report, which found that 97% passed Stage 2 by their second attempt.

The number of students needing additional re-sits after their second attempt increased by 14%, jumping from 3% to 17% in the space of a year.

The report also showed that female students performed better than males, with 11% more males than females defined at ‘struggling’.

It also showed multiple practices provided 85% of pre-registration training placements.

By | April 2nd, 2018|Education|

Murray-Darling medical school ‘progressing’ despite opposition

The Australian Medical Students’ Association on 28 February reiterated its opposition to a new medical school in the Murray-Darling Basin region, after Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, confirmed to Senate Estimates that the proposal is progressing.

Senator McKenzie described the Murray-Darling Medical School (MDMS) as part of the Nationals’ “grassroots” policy, despite acknowledging that problems lie with training junior doctors after medical school.

La Trobe and Charles Sturt University have an expert lobby group that is pushing for the MDMS. In the run up to the Federal Budget in May and with Health Minister Greg Hunt announcing a focus on rural health, students are concerned that the lobby is gaining momentum.

“The Murray-Darling Medical School proposal has been gathering dust on ministers’ desks for more than five years because it lacks merit and won’t fix the workforce issues it claims to address,” AMSA president Mr Alex Farrell said.

“New medical schools are expensive, take years to produce doctors, and add to the numbers of medical school graduates when there are already more graduating medical students than available internships and vocational training positions.

“Announcing a new medical school is politically attractive, but it is a short-sighted waste of taxpayer money.”

The MDMS proposal includes a new school in Wagga Wagga, in the electorate of new

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By | February 28th, 2018|Education|

Optometry Australia to close online store

Optometry Australia is to close its online store on 30 June next year, citing a significant drop in member demand for optometry books and eye-care brochures over the past few years.

All current book and merchandise orders will be fulfilled. Last orders will be accepted until 28 February 2018. All outstanding coupons will be honoured provided they are used by 31 May 2018. Orders for brochures can be placed up to 30 June 2018.

The chief executive officer of Optometry Australia, Ms Lyn Brodie, said: “An assessment of member demand, combined with a highly competitive retail environment and increasing distribution costs, has led us to the difficult but financially prudent decision to close our optometric online store.

“With expenses starting to out-strip revenue, we believe that we can no longer continue to divert members’ funds into keeping the store open.”

Optometry Australia will continue to promote new optometric books on its website.

By | December 22nd, 2017|Education|