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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 41, Nov 2009

mivision Issue 41, Nov 2009

The Federal Government and the ALP attempted to belittle ophthalmologists in the campaign to halve Medicare rebates for cataract surgery and it now appears that the Government is trying to find a way out of its politically dangerous decision by offering an eleventh hour compromise – a concession for what it describes as “complex” cataract surgery.

This offer is somewhat of a ‘Clayton’s’ compromise with Health Minister Nicola Roxon announcing that the Government would introduce a new rebate of AUD$850.75 for complex surgeries that take 40 minutes or more.

The Minister knows all too well the average cataract surgery takes anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes because Dr. Russell Bach, the President of the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists, has told her so.

Ophthalmologists have rejected this offer out of hand.

The Health Minister has already compromised on cuts to Medicare payments for macular degeneration and fertility treatment and she now faces a Senate block to the cataract changes, thanks to the Opposition and two Independent Senators.

The Government and its political arm waged a defamatory campaign on YouTube accusing ophthalmologists of being “greedy”. Dr. Bach said: “I think the YouTube reaction was composed by an out of touch political media machine and it shows their anxiety and concern that we’ve engaged them to the degree that we have. They’ve got no other good reason to actually justify the decision they’ve taken so they’ve resorted to the oldest trick in the book and that’s to say that doctors are greedy.”

Has the Government forgotten that it is the elderly and less fortunate who will suffer from this decision? What about all the pro bono work done by ophthalmologists? Perhaps the Government should read the story in this issue on the Vietnam Vision Project. This group of ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, GP’s and other volunteers from Sydney, Australia, have just returned from its seventh annual trip to Vietnam and second to Cambodia where they have performed more than 3,000 cataract operations – at their own expense.

Who does Prime Minister Kevin Rudd think is going to be a major part of developing his much vaunted bionic eye?

We at mivision fully support the campaign to rescind the halving of the Medicare rebate for cataract surgery because we are aware of something the Government has forgotten… that cataracts is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and is completely treatable.

There are none so blind as those who will not see!

Enjoy this issue.
The mivision team.

Contents – November 2009 mivision

News – mivision presents all the news both locally and from around the world.

mistory – Grandma’s not the only one who’s not happy – mivision takes a look at the campaigns war between Australia’s ophthalmologists and the Federal Government. By Norm Lipson

mifeature – The Vietnam Vision Project. Founded by Dr. Vo Phuoc and Le Duc Hong, the group helps reduce blindness from cataracts in the rural and poor areas of Vietnam. By Norm Lipson

miophthalmology – Dr. Gerard Sutton writes about Customising Refractive Surgery and provides some insight into the question: “How do you decide which operation is best for which patient?”

micolumn – Geoff Lawson writes about International travel, different climates, cultures and attidtudes.

mioptometry – Optometry Association Reports: Happenings and events from the optometry divisions in Australia and NZ.

mioptometry – Eyecare Plus National Conference. Mark Cushway writes about the Eyecare Plus 2009 National conference.

miequipment – The Colorimeter: helping to eradicate distortions perceived by people who struggle to read. By Norm Lipson

mifashion – Andrew Elder Smith wriets about contact lenses and teenages. Are they a good fit?

milenses – Sola Elan HDV: Mark Thysen writes about an evolution in versatile progressive lenses

mibusiness – Ready…Set…Go! John Lees explains the difference in attitude and behaviour, and what you can do to benefit your organisation

mibusiness – The Busiest Man in Optics. We ask Luxottica CEO, Chris Beer to tell us how he organises his high pressure job.

miproducts – mivision showcases three new great products: Hacket Folding Sunglasses : AMO’s Blink Intensive Tears and Lucentis.

mifashion news – The latest fashion news reported by Yoan Massie

mifashion – Hip to be Square. The latest round up of childres eyeweat. By Sharon Smith

The Last Word – Be Present. mivision rounds off the November issue with a wise word about staying focued, and to not get distracted.