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Vision Australia helps Gippsland clients dine out PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 07 September 2009

Eating out can be a challenge for anyone who is blind or has low vision. How would you read the menu? How would you know where the food is on your plate?

Vision Australia recently established dining groups for people who are blind or have low vision in Warragul and Traralgon to help take the fear out of dining out. Following the success of these groups, Vision Australia is now establishing lunch and dinner groups for people who are blind or have low vision in East and South Gippsland.

Vision Australia's dining groups will run once a month and be supported by trained volunteers. To express interest in Vision Australia's lunch and dinner groups please contact Esis Tawfik at Vision Australia on 1300 84 74 66.

 
17th Biennial ODMAFAIR Stats Shine PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 04 September 2009

This year’s ODMAFAIR closed with an overwhelmingly positive response relayed from exhibitors and media alike. Now, with all the reports and stats gathered, the real success of the Fair can be analysed, revealing despite the challenging global economic climate in the latter half of 2008 and early 2009, results are far stronger than some commentators predicted.

The post event surveys show that 92% of exhibitors surveyed were satisfied with the outcomes of their participation in ODMAFAIR 2009. 96% reported their objectives for participating were well met.

69% of respondents rated attendance numbers as satisfactory, with 88% rating the audience as high quality with good business potential.

Only 2% of 2009 exhibitors suggested they did not plan to participate in the next ODMAFAIR, with 85% voting to keep ODMAFAIR presentations on a two-year cycle.

While overall attendance was down (as expected), some 20% on the record breaking 2007 Fair, the number of businesses represented by visitors at ODMAFAIR 2009 was only down 11%, likely attributable to acquisitions.

The 2009 attendance breakdown also reveals that 23% of visitors were Dispensers – the highest percentage of this category attending any one Fair since 1995. 29% of visitors were optometrists.

Interstate visitation followed the world-wide exhibition and event industries trend being down by 20%, however international attendance was down only 16%. It is worth noting visitation from New Zealand - a key market for the Fair, remained strong.

Attendees also praised the Fair highly. Results from the post event visitor survey reveal 89.4% rated the Fair as a successful industry presentation, meeting their needs.

37% of respondents advised they brought less people from their practice/business to the Fair in 2009 than they had to past presentations. Attendance statistics support this with the numbers of general practice staff attending down from 18% in 2007 to 15% of total attendance in 2009.

64% of respondents confirmed they were invited to other presentations held concurrently to the Fair. Only 36% of these actually attending any of these.

49.6% of visitors chose to visit the Fair on more than one day – 17% of those on all three days.

ODMAFAIR 2011

Plans are already in place for ODMAFAIR 2011 which will be held from Friday 8 to Sunday 11 July 2011, once again at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.

 
PBS adds drugs to its list PDF
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Australian News
Thursday, 03 September 2009

Drugs have been added to the PBS list of medicines for prescription by optometrists. These are:

  • bimatoprost with timolol maleate.

    Bimatoprost with timolol maleate will be listed on the PBS for the reduction of elevated intra-ocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It was recommended on a cost-minimisation basis compared with its constituent components, bimatoprost 0.03% and timolol maleate 0.5% eye drops given concomitantly.

    This fixed combination product provides a therapeutic alternative to two mono-therapies of the respective components. Administration of a single product avoids the problem of ‘wash out’ where the first administered drug is physically ‘washed out’ of the eye by the second drug.

    As bimatoprost with timolol maleate is listed on a cost minimisation basis there is no expected additional cost to the PBS.

  • and Soy lecithin, Eye spray 10 mg per mL (1%), 10 mL (tearsagain).

    Soy lecithin liposomal eye spray will be listed on the PBS for the treatment of severe dry eye syndrome in patients who are sensitive to preservatives in multi-dose eye drops.  It was recommended on a cost-minimisation basis compared to single dose unit lubricant eye drops.

    Soy lecithin eye spray will replace currently listed products.

 
Leading Industry Publication Australia's Best Manufacturing Features Luxottica PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 31 August 2009

Luxottica have been given a pat on the back by Sydney-based company Bean Media Group publishers of Australia's Best Magazine. Luxottica was hand chosen to be featured as an editorial in their latest edition.

The full story can be downloaded here http://www.beanmedia.com.au/profiles/Luxottica.pdf

 
Seeing Eye Dog puppy Zeus lends a paw to encourage volunteers PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Vision Australia stopped the press - literally - while visiting staff at The Australian newspaper. Around 90 media staff took time out to hear about volunteer opportunities at Vision Australia before the General Manager of Nationwide News presented a cheque to support our services.

The engaging and information packed presentation showcased Vision Australia as well as volunteer opportunities available. The collaboration was a result of our ongoing media partnership with The Australian newspaper which has delivered great results during the past year including increased editorial and free advertising space.

David Fisher Dobbin kicked things off by introducing the audience to Vision Australia and our services for people who are blind or have low vision. He then talked a little about the different volunteering roles available including providing personal support narration of materials, assisting with gift wrapping in Myer stores at Christmas time and providing audio description at shows or events.

Vision Australia's Speakers Network Officer Nicolas Gleeson wowed everyone with stories about his adventures on Mount Kilimanjaro and behind the wheel of a car on Sydney's Eastern Creek raceway. He also talked about how the volunteers involved in these experiences had really made a difference in his life. Audio Description volunteer Jaslyn Hall followed Nick and gave the group a great insight into how volunteering has impacted on her.

 
Ophthalmologists accused of fee 'blackmail' over cataract surgery PDF
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Australian News
Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A medical workforce expert is urging the federal government to stick to its plans to slash Medicare rebates for cataract surgery, accusing ophthalmologists of "blatant blackmail" over their campaign to stir public outrage at the move. In the first declaration of support for the government's stance from a high-profile medical professional, Peter Brooks -- the former head of the University of Queensland's health faculty -- said he was writing to federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon to back the move and suggest cuts could be made more widely.

He was also proposing the government fund a pilot study to examine the feasibility of training mid-level health workers, such as optometrists and physician assistants, to perform cataract surgery instead of ophthalmologists. Professor Brooks's comments are likely to anger the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists, which last week ran a full-page advertisement in The Australian claiming "Grandma's not happy!" and suggesting the government was "blind to the facts".

The advertisement, also endorsed by the seniors' charity Council on the Ageing, urged readers to phone their local MP or talkback radio station to protest at the plans to cut rebates for cataract surgery by 50 per cent, from $831.60 to $409.60, from November 1. ASO president Russell Bach said doctors would not drop their fees, and patients would instead be hit with new gap charges of between $600 and $900. The Australian Medical Association has previously criticised the rebate cuts for cataract surgery and some other procedures as "ill-informed and misguided".

Professor Brooks, who is director of the Australian Health Workforce Institute, said those supporting the ASO's campaign "should be shamed into understanding what it is -- blackmail". He cited the work of the Fred Hollows Foundation, which claims to have reduced the cost of cataract surgery to below $25 in some developing countries, partly by training non-doctors how to do it.

 
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