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Industry News

21 Nov 2023

Collaborative Effort to Enhance Pediatric Eye Care in Australia

collaborative eyecare effortThree of Australia's leading national eye health professional organizations have united to address and improve the eye health of children across the nation. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), Optometry Australia (OA), and Orthoptics Australia have formed a cross-discipline collaborative eye care working group dedicated to designing and implementing models of care for pediatric ophthalmology services.

The primary objective of this collaborative effort is to develop and implement innovative models of care that not only provide much-needed pediatric eye care services but also enhance the overall effectiveness of the eye health system. This initiative is a significant step forward, aligning with RANZCO's Vision 2030 and Beyond plan, which aims to prevent avoidable blindness and ensure equitable access to eye healthcare services throughout Australia.

Under the leadership of RANZCO, OA, and Orthoptics Australia, the collaborative eye care working group will focus on creating comprehensive models of care over the next 12 months, beginning with pediatric eye care. This strategic initiative is part of a broader effort to establish clearly defined roles and pathways, promoting high-value collaborative care between ophthalmologists, optometrists, and orthoptists.

Dr. Grant Raymond, President of RANZCO, expressed enthusiasm about the formation of the working group, emphasizing the opportunity to develop collaborative models of care that leverage the unique skills and expertise of optometrists and orthoptists. He stated, "This is an opportunity to develop high-value collaborative models of care, working with optometrists and orthoptists, to develop clearly defined roles and pathways."

Dr. Margaret Lam, National President of Optometry Australia, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the potential for mutually beneficial relationships among ophthalmologists, optometrists, and orthoptists. "This is an opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships with ophthalmologists and orthoptists that recognize each other’s skills and competencies," she commented.

Dr. Amanda French, National President of Orthoptics Australia, expressed her satisfaction with the initial focus on pediatric eye care, emphasizing the pivotal role orthoptists play in this area. She said, "I am very pleased that the working group will focus initially on pediatric eye care where orthoptists have a key role to play."

The collaborative eye care working group will consist of professionals with practical knowledge and experience in collaborative care, particularly in relation to pediatric eye care. By bringing together ophthalmologists, optometrists, and orthoptists, this initiative aims to foster innovation, improve patient access to essential eye care services, and set a precedent for collaborative healthcare practices in the Australian eye health landscape.

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