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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 76, Feb 2012

mivision Issue 76, Feb 2012

As the year starts to ramp up, it’s a great time to take a close look at the opportunities and challenges that confront optical retailers on a day-to-day basis. In our lead story this issue we look at the great Medicare debate – whether optoms should continue to bulk bill or to move away from the Medicare Benefits Schedule and instead charge customers the schedule fee plus 15 per cent.

In this tough economic environment, it may be easier to accept the bulk-billing fee in the knowledge that ‘something is better than nothing’, yet is this fee – which the government only increased by 1.9 per cent last year – really allowing you to grow your practice? Does it allow you to differentiate your business from the others? We speak to optometrists, association representatives and government to weigh up the pros and cons.

On the subject of differentiating practices and service, in this issue, we also talk to industry specialists about the value of education and marketing in creating a competitive advantage. Again, much of a practice’s ability to do this comes back to having the financial resources available to fund the activities. You’d be surprised, though, at some of the paths independents can take that are effective – yet cost very little. It’s a case of thinking creatively and laterally to identify the opportunities.

Creativity… lateral thinking… building business… are you tired already? And it’s only February. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, it’s something we noticed new grads entering the workforce are struggling with, too! We spoke to a number of young optoms about their experiences entering the workforce. Overwhelmingly, they said they’d felt clinically prepared but lacking when it came to business management skills. It’s a familiar refrain, and one that we hope we’ll soon hear less of as universities adjust their curricula.

On a more positive note, it was brilliant to discover the enthusiasm these young optoms have for their new careers and their love of learning on the job. It was equally reassuring to find that the experienced optoms who had taken on these young grads felt they were benefiting as much as the graduates were. There you are again… it’s all about professional development; and for those who make the effort to develop a fledgling optometrist, there’s always plenty to be gained.

But getting back to experience, in this issue we pay our respects to two doyens of the industry: Richard Grills and Roger Chick, who between them have racked up over 100 years in optics – Roger in eyewear and Richard in technology and components. Both have been integral to building the strength of the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) as well as their own businesses. Having gained a wealth of experience and seen immense change occur in the industry, both men acknowledge the challenges of today but also see the opportunities.

Their advice is well worth a read.

Elsewhere in this issue, we kick off the year with two significant education articles each worth two CPD points for 2013, plus the latest news and much, much more.

Enjoy our first issue for 2013.

Mark Cushway, Editor

Contents

minews: All the latest news from mivision February issue 76 2013. Click here…

mistory: The Great Medicare Debate: Most of you would agree that the revenue collected from bulk billing goes no way towards covering the cost of delivering quality eye health consultations. Read more…

mifeature: Doyens of the Industry Wisdom of the Ages: As Roger Chick retired from his position as CEO of Safilo Australia, and Richard Grills stepped back from his day-to-day role with Designs for Vision, we talked to these two doyens of the industry. Read more…

mifeature: Ready or Not?: Looking back on that transition from student to employee, what is it that young optometrists wished they’d been taught at university? Read more…

mioptometry: All the latest optomerty reports from February 2013. Click here…

miview: Who’s for a United Summer? In Australia we like to quibble over which is the favoured State … but really, when you think about it, we’re one lucky, united nation “hidden in the summer for a million years”. Read more…

mieyecare (CPD ARTICLE): What is Perfect Lens Cleaning in an Imperfect World? New Multipurpose Disinfection Solutions have come onto the market in an effort to help improve disinfection efficacy. Read more…

mieyecare (CPD ARTICLE): Hybrid Contact Lenses: A case-based review: In this continuing professional development article we consider the advancements in hybrid contact lens technology. Read more…

miophthalmology: The 44th Annual Scientific RANZCO Congress: the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is regarded as the major educational event on the Australian and New Zealand Ophthalmologist’s calendar. Read more…

mifashion: Racing with Red Bull: There’s no doubt that around the world, the brand ‘Red Bull’ has become synonymous with extreme sports. Read more…

mifashion: Dressing for Success in the Business World: It’s more important than ever to dress for success – so how can you help your customers to make their way up the business and corporate ladder. Read more…

mifashionnews: All the latest fashion news from February 2013. Click here…

mibusiness: Education is Expensive But Ignorance ain‘t Bliss: As the retail world and technology continue to evolve, and research uncovers new insights, ongoing learning and professional development. Read more…

mibusiness: Put your Marketing into Gear: Medicare no longer sufficiently covers the cost of the service, your patients are more educated, they have greater expectations and are less loyal. Read more…

miproducts: All the latest products from February 2013. Click here…

milastword: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: After much soul searching, I recently ended a long-term relationship. When we began it was full of promise and hope. Read more…

midiary: Keep up with all the important dates on our calendar. Click here…

miclassifieds: Looking for a new practice? Looking for a new job? Looking for equipment? Find all of this here…

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