MP/former ophthalmologist in expenses row

Federal MP and former ophthalmologist, Andrew Laming, has been caught charging the taxpayer more than $21,000 in 2017 for himself plus his wife and two young daughters accompanying him on business-class flights crisscrossing from Kununurra to Brisbane via Perth as well as accommodation and hire cars, The Australian newspaper has reported..

The expenditure is within the rules for MPs.

Mr Laming was the Abbott opposition’s spokesman for regional health services and indigenous health but has not held a front-bench position since 2013.

He claims to have visited Kununurra for NAIDOC Week to meet indigenous leaders, and health educators and social-service providers, as well as to attend an indigenous literacy launch and discuss the trial of a cashless welfare card in the East Kimberley community, which is 3,600km from his seat of Bowman in Brisbane’s east.

The Australian said Mr Laming declined to comment when asked why it was necessary for his wife and two daughters (by now aged nine and five) to join him on the trip.

However, he blamed an unforeseen cancellation of a flight from Kununurra to Darwin an alternative rerouting through Perth for much of the cost.


By | January 21st, 2018|People|

‘Organ donation can transform lives’

Increased organ donation rates (including 1281 cornea donors) can transform lives as well as save precious health-care dollars, as organ transplants are more cost-effective than ongoing medical care, the Australian Medical Association says in a new position statement.

“The AMA supports organ and tissue donation, and strongly encourages individuals to consider their views on donation and discuss them with their family,” AMA president, Dr Michael Gannon, said while releasing the AMA Position Statement on Organ and Tissue Transplantation 2017.

A good time to make wishes known

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By | January 21st, 2018|People|

AMA adopts Declaration of Geneva pledge

The Australian Medical Association has formally adopted the World Medical Association’s updated pledge, the Declaration of Geneva, which recognises for the first time the need for medical practitioners to look after their own health and wellbeing.

“The declaration is referred to as the Physician’s Pledge, and is considered a modern successor to the Hippocratic Oath,” the president of the AMA, Dr Michael Gannon, said on 3 January.

“The WMA was formed in 1947 with the AMA one of its founding members. It predates other international organisations and was formed, in many ways, in response to the atrocities outlined in the Nuremberg trials.

“The Declaration of Geneva was originally adopted by the WMA General Assembly in 1948 and has undergone a series of amendments throughout the years, with the previous most recent editorial review being in 2006.

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By | January 7th, 2018|People|

New president for Optometry NSW/ACT

Luke Cahill is the new president of Optometry NSW/ACT, the 47th person to hold the position in its 113 years existence. He succeeds Christine Craigie in the position; she is now immediate past-president.

Mr Cahill brings broad experience to the position, including councillor of Optometry NSW/ACT for three years and Optometry WA for 12 years (while practising in WA), clinical work with private and corporate practices (mainly professional services manager with Laubman and Pank in WA and Luxottica in South Australia and later NSW), positions in industry including his current position as head of the Medical Affairs Division Asia Pacific of Johnson & Johnson.

He was also a member of the University of NSW School of Optometry and Visual Science Visiting Committee.

By | January 7th, 2018|People|

Paramedics to become registered with AHPRA

Paramedics are to become registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency by late 2018.

They will join 14 other health-care practitioners registered with AHPRSA, including medical practitioners and optometrists.

National regulation of paramedicine will mean that for the first time paramedics will be able to register once and practice anywhere in Australia. It will also increase public safety as all paramedics will be required to meet the same registration standards, no matter where they live.

‘Can help protect the public’

The chair of the Paramedicine Board of Australia, Associate Professor Stephen Gough, said on 20 December: “Setting registration standards is an important part of how the board and paramedics can help protect the public. 

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By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

Luxottica appoints new CEO

In what the company describes as a move to “simplify its organisational and governance structure,” Luxottica Group has announced the departure of Mr Massimo Vian, who has been chief executive officer for products and operations of the group, three months before his term expires.

The group will consolidate executive responsibilities in the hands of the executive chairman Mr Leonardo Del Vecchio and the deputy chairman Mr Francesco Milleri, who also assumes the position of chief executive officer. Mr Stefano Grassi, chief financial officer of the group, has been appointed to Luxottica’s board of directors.

By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

Glaucoma Australia appoints new CEO

Glaucoma Australia has appointed Mrs Annie Gibbins as its new chief executive officer, effective 1 February 2018.

Mrs Gibbins succeeds Mr Geoff Pollard, who will retire after seven years at the helm of GA.

The presidents of GA, Mr Ron Spithill, commended Mr Pollard on his “outstanding contribution” to the wellbeing of people with glaucoma, saying: “Geoff steps down with GA in a stronger position than any other time in its almost 30-year history. I congratulate him on his considerable achievements in the role and wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement.”

Mr Spithill also commented: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Annie Gibbins as our next CEO. I am confident that under her stewardship our organisation will be a powerful force for change in the war against the blinding impact of glaucoma.”

Mrs Gibbins was chosen in a competitive selection process from a field of candidates and brings over 15 years’ senior management experience to GA’s mission to eliminate glaucoma blindness.

Her previous roles include CEO of the Australian Institute of Ultrasound, CEO of the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine, national education manager of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and senior nurse educator TAFE, NSW. More recently, she has been CEO of Lipstick Consulting, providing business and life coaching to women.

By | December 4th, 2017|People|

Death of Heidelberg Engineering co-founder

Heidelberg Engineering has announced the death of the company’s co-founder and managing director, Dr Gerhard Zinser, on 19 November.

Dr Zinser was a pioneer, an inventor, and the driving force behind many of Heidelberg’s ground-breaking technologies and products, such as the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph and the Spectralis platform.

Paying tribute, Mr Christoph Schoess, co-founder and managing director of Heidelberg Engineering, said: “I have had the privilege of working with Gerhard for nearly three decades in an exceptionally harmonious partnership. He will be sorely missed by all of us here at Heidelberg Engineering, and we are steadfast in our commitment to continue his lifelong mission of bringing innovation to the field of eye care.”


By | December 4th, 2017|People|

Chair & CEO of Vision 2020 Australia report to members

Reflecting on 2016-17 in Vision 2020 Australia’s annual report, the chair, Ms Amanda Vanstone, and the chief executive officer, Ms Carla Northam, said the organisation had focused on running with discipline, which resulted in a positive financial position.

“We continue to strengthen our support for members through vital work in policy and advocacy, including:

  • Calling on the Australian Government to set a target of 7 per cent employment of people with a disability within the Australian Public Service by 2020
  • Publishing the ‘Closing the Gap in Eye Health and Vision Care by 2020’ sector proposal making recommendations to improve indigenous eye health
  • Identifying the need for investment to address a lack of coordinated and systemic approach to eye examinations for people with diabetes.

The collective expertise of our members and stakeholders has contributed to these and other policy and advocacy achievements over the last year. Those achievements would not have been possible without the dedication and significant contribution of member representatives from across the sector, through participation in Vision 2020 Australia’s policy and steering committees. Clearly, success is founded on collaboration and by working together and keeping focused on our priorities we can realise our ambitious vision.

Key achievement was new Strategic Plan

A key achievement for Vision 2020 Australia was the planning, development

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By | December 4th, 2017|People|

Ophthalmologist agrees to repay $750,000 after engaging in inappropriate practice

An ophthalmologist has agreed to repay $750,000 for engaging in inappropriate practice in connection with rendering Medical Benefits Schedule items 42702, 42740 and 42788.

The ophthalmologist’s rendering of the three MBS items were reviewed by the director of the Professional Services Review.

According to the director’report, the ophthalmologist acknowledged engaging in inappropriate practice in connection with rendering all of those items; agreed to repay $750,000; and will be reprimanded by the director.

Due to the nature of negotiated agreements and secrecy limitations imposed by the legislative scheme, no practitioners who have entered into agreements with the director are named.

However, the director has the power to disclose the names and addresses of practitioners who are found by a committee to have engaged in inappropriate practice and who are subject to a final determination.

  • Item 42702 is for ‘Lens extraction and insertion of intraocular lens, excluding surgery performed for the correction of refractive error except for anisometropia greater than 3 dioptres following the removal of cataract in the first eye.
  • Item 42740 is for ‘Intravitreal injection of therapeutic substances, or the removal of vitreous humour for diagnostic purposes, 1 or more of, as a procedure associated with other intraocular surgery.
  • Item 42788 is for ‘laser capsulotomy – each treatment episode to one eye, to a

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By | November 28th, 2017|People|