ZOA SUMMARY REPORT OF THE SOME OF THE WORK CARRIED OUT DURING 2014
In addition to the CPD lectures and the conferences held, the executive committee and other committees have been working behind the scenes to build on the work done by the previous committee. It is our hope that it is understood by all members that the committee members are all employed in full time Optometry work and some of the issues pending will thus take a long time to be dealt with. We would like to share with you some of the outcomes of meetings held during the year and other work that has been done that members may not know about.
In 2013 the PCZ requested a submission from the ZOA on the changes we would like on the CPD policy to make it more relevant to Optometry. A revised policy was sent to PCZ but no action was taken. In 2014 we asked PCZ for a response and we were advised that they were waiting for submissions from the other associations. On 5th December 2014 Mwaka and Richard had a meeting with Mr Magaya at PCZ. The outcomes were as follows;
- AGM – this is considered as a lecture meeting and will only be allocated 5 points. If it is held as part of a conference only 10 points will be awarded for both the conference and the AGM. The two must be held as separate meetings.
- PCZ does not consider the length of hours or days, the content or the location (i.e local or out of the country) of any conference. A conference will be allocated 10 points only.
- Practitioners are encouraged to obtain more than the number of points required by the council in order to avoid falling short when points are cut down.
- It is the intention of the PCZ to make the recording of CPD completely electronic and make it user friendly for practitioners. In the near future council would like to be in a position where practitioners can record their points online and receive a printed copy from the council of their points.
- PCZ is moving away from the position where CPD is housed under the associations. It is their desire that the practitioner becomes responsible for their CPD under the guidance of the council. The associations will still be required to make sure that there is a good programme in place for members to be able to achieve the points.
- By requesting that CPD summaries are submitted to the council by 30 November, the council is helping practitioners to have enough time to correct the shortfalls before the end of the year. Practitioners are encouraged to make use of the different categories of the form and look at ways of achieving points through those categories. For example, community service is awarded 5 points. Members are also encouraged to attend meetings held by other medical professionals – there is no restriction to an Optometrist attending a Pharmacists/ ZIMA conference etc.
- Should ZOA have some further suggestions on what we wish PCZ to consider in the CPD policy, the association is encouraged to write a proposal to the Education and Liaison Committee for consideration at the February 2015 meeting.
As reported to you at the annual conference, ZOA has submitted to PCZ the recommendation for the PQE structure. The document has been discussed at the Education and Liaison committee and has requested that ZOA add more detail to include the areas of competency for each category that will be examined. It is the desire of both council and ZOA that the PQE & pre-registration policy be put in place and begin to operate as early in 2015 as possible.
School of Optometry
The executive has had a meeting with Professor Masanganise and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS) team that are working to get the School of Optometry established. We are happy to report that the ZOA will now be more involved in the development of the school covering issues that include sitting on the steering committee, staff identification, and curriculum development. It has been formalised that ZOA is a strategic partner in the development of the school.
Amendment to the Health Act
Members may or may not be familiar with the fact that there is no mention of Optometry in the current Health Act. A document has been written by the executive to make changes to section 125 so that it includes a separate section on Optometry.
Included in this amendment proposal was a document that outlines the scope of practice of an Optometrist and indicates the different scopes of practice for Dispensing Opticians, Optometrists and Ophthalmologists.
Dispensing Opticians carrying out ‘eye tests’
The executive has continued to lobby the council on the issue of Dispensing Opticians who carry out ‘eye tests’ and prescribe glasses. This lobbying will continue until the council takes action. PCZ have advised ZOA that Optometrists who come into contact with these Dispensing Opticians should record all the details, give this to the executive to send on to the PCZ so that the council can deal directly with the individual named.
Public awareness of Optometry
An educational advert was placed in the Standard of November 23-29 by the ZOA. It was titled “The importance of an eye exam”. There was also a paragraph on glaucoma. The ZOA website address was given and the public were advised to look at the website to get a list of registered Optometrists in their areas. There will be more such educational adverts in the future.