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Friday / August 19.
HomemioptometryLooking After You is What We Do

Looking After You is What We Do

Sometimes the short-term savings we make turn out to be costly in the long run.

O NSW/ACT

Andrew McKinnon

A ‘false economy’ is something that seems to save money but will really make you spend more.

Is giving up Association membership in favour of ‘cheaper’ Professional Indemnity Insurance one of the best examples yet of a real ‘false economy’?

Is giving up Association membership in favour of ‘cheaper’ Professional Indemnity Insurance one of the best examples yet of a real ‘false economy’?

Three real examples that we are dealing with right now might make you say “yes”.

  1. A member was called to an interview with the Director of the Professional Services Review (PSR). A serious situation – a bad outcome can lead to suspension of Medicare benefits or the repayment of very large sums of money – or both. The Association CEO travelled to the regional meeting to attend the interview with the member, debriefed afterwards, then spent a combined four days with our Professional Services Manager drafting a 14-page response to the PSR. Even a cheap lawyer, providing they had the expertise, would charge around AU$15,000 for this and require your significant involvement. If you are insured with a commercial insurance provider and have sought assistance in a similar circumstance, I’d love to hear your experience.
  2. A member was asked to respond to a complaint from the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) concerning treatment provided to a patient. The Association gathered relevant clinical information from the member and drafted the response, addressing concerns and providing information on which we believe the HCCC could find the optometrist has no grounds for further action. Total time taken; about a day. Lawyer for a day – about AU$2,500.
  3. A member received a complaint from Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) with ‘interesting’ assertions about the member’s conduct that had very broad implications for the member and the profession if upheld. The Association is working with the member to prepare a response to AHPRA, with a view to correcting some of its misunderstandings about what constitutes appropriate professional practice. We will also make contact with the Board to ensure AHPRA’s views are not reflective of the Board’s opinion.

Sure, saving $500-800 on insurance v. membership might seem like a great deal … but how will you be supported in scenarios like the ones above – without the Association to back you?

The Association is here to look after you – that’s what we do. But you need to be a member to enjoy the peace of mind.

O QNT

Cathryn Baker

As 2018 is almost upon us, we have begun to reflect on what an eventful and successful year O QNT has seen.

Earlier this year, O QNT had a major breakthrough with Queensland Health on securing a pathway to allow therapeutically endorsed optometrists to prescribe compounded eye drops. As the Queensland legislation currently differs from other parts of Australia, Queensland optometrists can now apply to be individually approved to prescribe compounded eye drops such as low dose Atropine. This pathway provides an interim measure while the Queensland legislation awaits change.

More recently, the team commenced the search for optometrist mentors for the 2018 i-Partner program. The aim of the program is to facilitate mentoring partnerships between ECO QLD/NT members and QUT final-year optometry students. The program provides both parties with a rewarding experience and networking opportunities, and will help make the transition out of university into practice simpler for our graduating QUT students.

We anticipate 2018 will be an even more eventful year!

In particular, O QNT is delighted to be hosting Australian Vision Convention 2018 at the multiple award winning Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre over the weekend of 7–8 April. While the Commonwealth Games unfold on the Gold Coast, O QNT will be host to an exceptional and memorable conference in our home town of Brisbane. Next year will mark 11 years since O QNT has hosted a conference in Brisbane and we are excited to showcase our cities delights and local sights!

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