Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

March 2011 Newsletter

Contents

  • Message to Canterbury practitioners
  • Reminder: APC renewals due by 11 March
  • Obituary: Paul Dunlop, Optometrist
  • Final Statement on Release and Receipt of Patient Information
  • Final revised Standards of Ethical Conduct for Dispensing Opticians
  • Consultation on proposed new prescribed qualification for optical dispensing
  • Final Policy on Fitness to Practise of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
  • New leadership on the Board
  • Call for nominations for membership of the Board
  • "Lost" practitioners.

 

Message to Canterbury practitioners

The Board extends its best wishes to those Canterbury optometrists and dispensing opticians who have been affected by the earthquake on 22 February.  The Board understands that renewal of practising certificates may not be possible for some of these practitioners at this time.  If you are a Canterbury practitioner who is genuinely unable to renew by 31 March due to the earthquake, please be assured that you will be able to apply for renewal until 30 June, without penalty. This approach is supported by the Ministry of Health and is also being adopted by other regulatory authorities.

 

APC renewal

In a special newsletter sent to all optometrists and dispensing opticians in January, we reminded practitioners of the need to apply for their practising certificates on time.  All Annual Practising Certificates expire on 31 March each year, regardless of when they were issued.  If you have not already received your personalised APC renewal form please click here to download a generic renewal form (APC3), and send it in to us without delay.

To ensure you receive your APC before 1 April, your application must be received by the Board by 11 March 2011.  As already advised, applications for renewal received after 1 April will incur an additional fee of $240, with the exception of Canterbury practitioners affected by the recent earthquake as noted above. 

When you receive your APC for 2011, please ensure you put it in a safe place. Every year, the Board receives requests for replacement APCs from practitioners who have mislaid their original.  We have already received at least one request for a replacement APC for the 2011 year.  Replacements are not issued.  Your APC is a legal document, and you should be able to produce it for inspection upon request from a patient.  

 

Obituary: Paul Dunlop, optometrist

Many practitioners will have already heard that optometrist Paul Dunlop died in the earthquake.  The Board offers its sympathies to his wife Sue, and to his family, friends and colleagues.  Paul had been actively involved in work with the Board for many years, and had a strong interest in maintaining professional standards.  He was one of three optometrists around the country approved to examine colleagues for competence in the use of DPAs, and was one of the Board's panel of trained Performance Assessment Committee members.  More recently, Paul had sat on several Professional Conduct Committees appointed by the Board, and was also supervising a colleague.  His work for the Board, as with other community and professional organisations, was hugely appreciated, and he will be missed.

 

Final Statement on Release and Receipt of Patient Information

In its December Newsletter, the Board consulted on a draft Statement on Release and Receipt of Patient Information.  The Board thanks those who made submissions and notes that as a result of consultation a substantive change has been made to the Statement, which may affect many practices.  All practitioners should be aware that the Privacy Act 1993 and related Health Information Privacy Code prohibit the charging of a fee for release of a patient's personal information, unless one of the following two circumstances applies:

  • where information has already been made available to the individual, and the individual makes a subsequent request for the same/substantially the same information within 12 months of the original request; or
  • for providing a copy of an X-ray, video recording, or an MRI/PET/CAT scan photo.

Practitioners are encouraged to familarise themselves with the Board's Statement to ensure that they are complying with the requirements of the Privacy Act when dealing with requests from or on behalf of a patient.

 

Final Standards of Ethical Conduct for Dispensing Opticians

The Board thanks those who made submissions on the proposed revisions to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Dispensing Opticians.  No suggestions for major changes were received.  The new Standards can be viewed here and are effective immediately.  All dispensing opticians are advised to familiarise themselves with the new Standards of Ethical Conduct, and to ensure they adhere to these Standards.

 

Consultation: proposed new prescribed qualification for optical dispensing

The Board has received an application from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to have its Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing approved by the Board as a prescribed qualification for registration in the optical dispensing scope of practice.

The Board has considered all relevant material provided by RMIT, and has obtained independent advice on whether the qualification meets the requirements of section 13 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.  In the Board's view it appears to do so, so the Board is consulting on whether to prescribe the qualification, together with a requirement to complete a Record of Training, as a qualification for registration in the optical dispensing scope of practice.

Click here for the consultation document.  Click here for a copy of the independent review of the RMIT qualification. Consultation closes at 5.00 pm on 18 April 2011.

 

New Policy on Fitness to Practise

In December, the Board consulted on a new Policy on Assessment of Fitness to Practise of Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians.  This policy outlines how the Board will deal with practitioners referred to it for health conditions that may affect their ability to practise safely.

All practitioners are reminded that there is a legal requirement that you, as a registered health practitioner, must notify the Board if you believe another health practitioner is unable to perform the functions required for the practice of their profession due to a mental or physical condition.  The Board also encourages self-notification.

Managing health concerns is not a punitive process.  The Board aims to assist and support practitioners to attain wellness, while ensuring that the health and safety of the public is protected.   Click here to read the policy, or contact the Registrar if you wish to discuss a concern about a colleague's health.

 

New Board Chair and Deputy Chair

At its meeting on 28 January 2011, the Board elected Richard Lobb, optometrist, as its new Chairperson, and Ruth Spelman, lay member, as Deputy Chairperson.  Click here for information on Richard's, Ruth's and other Board members' backgrounds.

Richard's first act as new Chair was to thank John McLennan as outgoing Chair for his hard work and strong leadership, which has seen the Board make major progress in governance systems and development of key policy work to assist the Board in fulfilling its obligations under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act.

 

Call for nominations - appointments to the Board

The Ministry of Health is currently calling for nominations for appointment to the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board.  The following positions are due for re/appointment in September:

  • two optometrist positions
  • one dispensing optician position
  • one lay member position.

There is also a need for at least three more dispensing optician members on the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

If you are interested in any of the above positions, please click here for an application form.  Please note, the application process is managed by the Ministry of Health, not the Board.

  

"Lost" practitioners

Section 140 of the HPCAA requires practitioners to promptly advise the Board of changes to their residential, postal and work addresses.  The following practitioners have not responded to mail sent to their last known address, or their mail has been returned to us.  They will be removed from the Register unless we hear from them within one month.  If you know where they are, please ask them to contact us directly if they wish to stay on the Register.

 

Tariq

Dowlah

Nimesh

Patel

Kanishka

Abeygooneratne

Julius

Hart

Jessica

Illingworth

Kirsten

MacIntosh

Nicholas

Stokes

Corey

Anderson

David

Baker

Gail

Baker

Samy

Barbary

Jane

Brimelow

Sarah

Carlisle

Hsiao

Chan

Dorothy

Christodoulou

Kevin

Gray

Munirali

Haji

Renata

Howe

Stuart

Laing

Nicole

Levy

Lynden

Mason

Claire

McDonnell

William

McIvor

Blair

Monteith

Frankie

Morgan

Andrew

Muir

Pamela

Muir

Rehka

Sandiford

Grant

Sapsford

Christopher

Snow

Emma

Stuart

Dung

Tran

Ursula

White

Marek

Wojt

Jamie

Wooldridge

Karen

Yu

Warick

Gilbert

Shivani

Aggarwala

Tristan

Heath

Eileen

Hunter

 

 

Contact Us

Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

Level 5, 22 Willeston Street,
Wellington 6011
PO Box 9644, Wellington 6141
Tel: +64 4 474 0705, Fax +64 4 474 0709

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