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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 57, May 2011

mivision Issue 57, May 2011

Budget season… Time For A Long Term View.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned us to expect pain in the May budget because “leaving it any later would mean having to make ‘radical cuts’ to schools, Medicare and pensions.”

One area in which she is likely to inflict that pain is the area of medical health and research – ironic given that supporting such research could ease the physical pain felt by many disease sufferers in Australia and around the world – not to mention the financial pain on our health system.

Australia’s peak body for supporting health and medical research, could be cut by up to AUD$400 million over the next three years – the equivalent to around 18 per cent of the Council’s yearly budget. This will have a devastating impact on research into cures for eye disease…

In his article ‘Budget Cuts Short Sighted for Eye Research‘, Professor Jonathon Crowston predicts that in this year’s federal budget, funding for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s peak body for supporting health and medical research, could be cut by up to AUD$400 million over the next three years – the equivalent to around 18 per cent of the Council’s yearly budget. This will have a devastating impact on research into cures for eye disease.

The direct costs of treating eye disease in Australia were estimated to be AUD$2.98 billion in 2009 and with an ageing population we can expect this figure to rapidly increase over the next decade. By 2020, it’s estimated that allocated health expenditure will reach AUD$4.8 billion or AUD$5,950 per person with vision loss aged over 40.

These costs are mind blowing, yet with a little extra funding for research (rather than less) they could be lessened. According to an Access Economics report, for every AUD$1 invested in eye research, there’s an estimated AUD$5 return in patient benefit and savings in health service provision.

Political investments are so often about the short term and so this short sighted decision to cut funding for health and medical research is most likely to be paralleled with funding cuts to other critical areas of the economy. As Geoff Lawson says in his column, many leaders make decisions that favour the party political whims of re-election and their own egos – it’s a wise leader who understands why they are elected and the depth of their legacy.

The same applies in successful optometry practices as Dr. Gary Gerber highlights in his business column. Instead of looking for a quick fix solution leaders implement strategies to achieve repeat business that generates steady growth over the long term.

Of course successful leaders are also those who have their fingers on the pulse – who can pick the trends and go with them. Take 3D for example.

In the 60’s this technology was considered a fad and it’s probably just as well that optometrists didn’t leap onto it and invest in millions of pairs of cardboard frames. These days, 3D has permeated entertainment, education and business. What’s more, it has opened up an entirely new area of business for strategic optometrists who see the potential for more eye tests and behavioural treatments as well, of course, as sales of fashion 3D frames.

You’ll find discussions on all this and more in the following pages of mivision… enjoy.

Mark Cushway


minews: all the latest news from May 2011, inluding the exiting new breakthrough of the Bionic Eye Microchip and a few wise words from Paul Clarke to Australia’s Optical Dispensers.

mistory: Budget Cuts for Eye Research: Threatened cuts to fund for medical research of up to AUD$400 million will diminish healthcare for many Australians…

mistory: More to 3D Than We Already Know! 3D viewing has been huge over the past couple of years… And it’s hardly surprising…

mifeature: Professor Brain Layland. With the optom needs in Australia at a high, it is through Professor Brian Layland’s efforts eyecare health in Australia has been altered.

mifeature: The Dangers of Eye Make-Up. Whilst makeup can transform a woman’s face and boost her confidence patients must be made aware of the dangers of possible eye infection and injury caused by makeup.

mioptometry: the latest reports from the Australian and New Zealand Optometry Divisions.

miview: As we enter Budget season Geoff Lawson suggests that as we consider this year’s budget, spare a thought for those in India who daily do battle with wall to wall, polylaned traffic.

mieyecare: Challenging the Multipurpose Disinfecting Solution: As patients increasingly choose to wear and sleep in silicone hydrogel lenses, the incidence of infections is on the rise.

miophthalmology: A Global Focus on Eyecare: Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress (APAO) Sydney 2011 – one of the biggest eye health conferences ever held in Australia.

midispenser: ADOA Report: In the April edition of mivision we explored issues surrounding restrictions on use of the title ‘optician’.

midispenser: Tips for Optoms and Optical Dispensers: Taking time to talk to frame reps and look at their latest stock may frustrate you – but to be successful in practice

mifashion: A Passion for Polarised Lenses: Almost 13 years later it is clear that Kim and Franks passion for Spotters hasn’t waned.

mifashion: An Affair with Fashion: Stand out exhibits at the Mido optical trade fair in Milan this year featured sophisticated retro styling and environmentally savvy collections.

mifashionnews: the latest fashion news.

mibusiness: Noosa may be a haven for tourists, but the region presents numerous challenges for local businesses.

mibusiness: Unlocking the Secret to Increased Revenue: There are only three ways to increase top line revenues in your practice. Are you using all three?

miequipment: AMD Screening Improvement by Carl Zeiss: The new Carl Zeiss Visucam, a non-mydriatic fundus camera, is breaking new ground in helping clinicians to identify and manage patients with dry AMD

miproducts: New Products Featured in May 2011 Issue of mivision (issue 57)

miLastWord: What Really Drives You in Life?