Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board

July 2012 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • APC Renewals Update
  • Optometry Scopes of Practice Update
  • Standards of Ethical Conduct for Optometrists
  • HPCAA Review Update
  • Ministry of Health call for expressions of interest for appointment to the Board
  • Registration, APC Requirement and Use of Titles under the HPCAA
  • Self Audit Questionnaire Revisions
  • Update on Possible Move to Health Regulatory Authority Single Shared Secretariat
  • Lost Practitioners

 

APC Renewals Update

The annual APC renewals process is now well and truly concluded. Thank you to everyone who got their completed applications and payment in on time. We were very impressed to receive all but a small handful before the 31 March deadline. Well done!

For your information, as at 1 July 2012, there are currently 792 optometrists registered and 634 holding current practising certificates, and 224 dispensing opticians registered and 187 holding current practising certificates.

People on the register but not holding current practising certificates are generally either overseas, on maternity leave, or retired but want to maintain their registered status.

If you’ve recently returned from overseas or maternity leave and need to apply for a practising certificate click here for the application form.

Optometry Scopes of Practice Update

Thank you to all those who provided submissions on the Board’s consultation on proposed future amendments to the optometry scopes of practice. The Board was very pleased to receive everyone’s valuable feedback, which was considered at the Board’s April 2012 meeting.

The Board is still currently in the process of deciding on the next steps to be taken with regard to the optometry scopes of practice, but information will be available in the near future, along with a summary of the key themes communicated in the submissions.

Standards of Ethical Conduct for Optometrists

The Board wishes to thank those who responded to the Board’s request for comments on a proposal to revise the Board’s current 'Standards of Ethical Conduct for Optometrists' and to apply the same standards of ethical conduct for registered optometrists as those adopted by the New Zealand Association of Optometrists (NZAO) late last year.

The Board is happy to advise that the Board’s 'Standards of Ethical Conduct for Optometrists' have now been revised and the standards adopted by the NZAO have now been incorporated into the Board’s revised standards. A copy of the revised document can be reviewed by clicking here.

Please re-familiarise yourself with this document and ensure that you take on board the guidance provided.

HPCAA Review Update

As of today’s date, the Board has still not received an invitation to make a submission on the upcoming review of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA). We understand that at this time further work is being completed on the scope of the review; however, as previously mentioned, the review will focus on the principals that underpin the legislation and the operation of the HPCAA itself.

Once the Board receives its invitation to make submissions, which will detail the submission deadline and where submissions should be sent, the Board will provide this information to the professions as well, so you know where to direct any submissions you may wish to make and by what date.

Ministry of Health Call for Expressions of Interest for Appointment to the Board

In November 2012, three positions on the Board will come up for re/appointment. One lay position; one optometrist position; and one dispensing optician position. The Ministry of Health runs the re/appointment process and the Board has been advised that a call for expressions of interest/applications will be made in August/September 2012. Once available, information on these positions and how to apply will be available on the Ministry of Health website. The Board will notify practitioners and stakeholders once this information becomes available.

Registration, APC Requirement and Use of Titles under the HPCAA

A number of queries raised with Board staff at APC renewal time have prompted the Board to remind practitioners about the requirements with regard to registration, practising certificates and the use of different titles under the HPCAA.

If you are registered under the HPCAA, under section 8 of the HPCAA you must hold a current practising certificate to practise, irrespective of how frequently you practise or what title you may use while practising. Using a different title, e.g. ‘Optician’ instead of ‘Optometrist’ or ‘Dispensing Optician’ does not negate the requirement for a current APC.

If you are a registered optometrist or dispensing optician and you have been on maternity leave for a time, you must contact the Board to apply for a current practising certificate before returning to active practise. Even if you will only be working one day a week, you must hold a current practising certificate issued by the Board.

Practising without a current practising certificate while registered under the HPCAA is illegal and those found in breach of the HPCAA will be referred to a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for investigation. Being referred to a PCC can result in charges being laid before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

If you have concerns or questions about any of the above information, please contact the Registrar for advice on 04 474 0705.

Those not registered under the HPCAA who claim to be registered health practitioners risk prosecution by the Ministry of Health under section 7 of the HPCAA, an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine of up to $10,000. If you have concerns that someone you know or have heard of may be holding themselves out as a registered health practitioner, please contact the Ministry of Health for advice on 04 816 4346.  

Update on Possible Health Regulatory Authority Single Shared Secretariat

As previously advised in the Board’s March newsletter, at the request of the Minister of Health the Board has been exploring the benefits of establishing a shared secretariat with other health regulatory authorities to assist the collaboration and cost reduction initiatives of the government.

To date, the Board has been working collaboratively in exploring the options available with the Nursing and Midwifery Councils and the Psychologists, Chiropractic and Dietitians Boards (the ‘Partner RAs’).  Together, the Partner RAs represent approximately 78 percent of DHB-employed APC holders. Partner RA investigations have been focussing on the risks and benefits of co-locating together to share back office functions only, such as shared finance, human resources and information technology and communications support.

KPMG were contracted by the Partner RAs to assist in undertaking this work, and the KPMG report identified potential gains that indicate that shared administrative, not regulatory, functions could achieve savings of over 7 percent and increase effectiveness, and at relatively low risk. 

A group of the remaining health regulatory authorities has also been conducting investigations into the options available for establishing a shared secretariat, but their focus has been on joining together both back office and regulatory functions, including amalgamating to one shared IT system.

Since concluding our preliminary investigations and advising the Minister of the positive indicative results, the Minister has advised the health regulatory authorities of his wish to see all 16 health regulatory authorities join together to form a single shared secretariat with a focus on value for money, a national workforce data plan, and shared resources and leveraging of expertise amongst the regulatory authorities.

At this time, the Board has agreed to work together with the other 15 health regulatory authorities in the development of terms of reference for a detailed business case which will clearly identify any organisational and business changes required, the potential risks associated with these changes, and any efficiencies and potential cost savings to be gained. At present, discussions are ongoing as to the feasibility or otherwise of the secretariat extending to include shared regulatory as well as back office functions under the HPCAA.

As a move to a single shared secretariat could carry significant cost and risk, particularly for the smaller regulated professions, the Board is doing due diligence in considering all options and will consult with the professions and stakeholders at such time as it becomes necessary for the Board to commit to a way forward and/or if it becomes necessary to commit significant practitioner funds to advancing investigations into this matter.

The Board will keep practitioners and stakeholders updated on any further progress made with regards to this matter.   

Self Audit Questionnaire Revisions

The Board recently revised the self audit questionnaire that is sent to practitioners when they are randomly selected for audit or are required to complete an audit due to their CPD being in deficit.

Revisions to the questionnaire include the following:

  • A request for information on the current status of the practitioner’s CPD activities (Section 6 of the questionnaire - applies to both professions); and
  • A request for information on practitioner prescribing (Questions 16, 17 & 22 of the questionnaire refer - for optometrists registered in the TPA scope of practice only). 

Click here to view a copy of the revised self audit questionnaire. This revised questionnaire is effective from July 2012.

Lost Practitioners

In this issue of the Board’s newsletter, we list several ‘lost’ practitioners. These are optometrists and dispensing opticians we cannot trace because they have not told us their new addresses.

If you change your postal, residential or work address, the HPCAA requires you to promptly notify the Board of this change so we can keep in contact with you. You can notify the Board of this change very quickly by sending an email to the Deputy Registrar at [email protected]

The following optometrists and dispensing opticians will be removed from the Registers unless we promptly receive notice of their new addresses: 

Dispensing Opticians:

Mr

Waheed Olaseni

Akib

Mrs

Lucy Caroline

Hilling

Mrs

Helen McInnes

Jones

Mr

Gregory Damian

McKee

Mr

Jason Yi

Zhu

Miss

Kesia Franziska

Zund

Optometrists:

Mr

Lodewikus Johannes Jordaan

Bierman

Mr

Simon Craig

Brooks

Mr

Andrew James

Catran

Ms

Eunice Young-Eun

Chang

Ms

Arti

Dhir

Mr

Kin Fatt

Foo

Mr

Ian Thomas Cecil

French

Mrs

Anita

Jones

Mr

Sung Hoon

Jung

Mr

Kien Min

Leong

Miss

Gillian Ann

Murdoch

Mr

Jeremy Alan

Parkes

Mr

Nilesh

Patel

Miss

Pauline Williamson

Raeburn

Mrs

Deborah Elizabeth

Sayers

Mr

Asela Ashan

Senanayake

Ms

Mahshid

Shahrinia

If you know how to contact any of these practitioners or you are one of these practitioners, please email the Deputy Registrar at the above email address as soon as possible. Thank you.

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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