The Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has used social media to encourage Australians to take a “simple test for glaucoma” after attending the Glaucoma Testing Day jointly organised by Specsavers, RANZCO and Glaucoma Australia at Parliament House, Canberra.

The event, held on 12 September 2017, allowed MPs from all sides to see the investment that is being made into diagnostic technology in today’s Australian and New Zealand optometry practice. Standard Specsavers equipment was shipped into Parliament for the day, including the Tonoref III, the Top-Con Maestro OCT and the Zeiss Humphrey Field Analyser 3.

It also gave Specsavers, RANZCO and Glaucoma Australia an opportunity to demonstrate how closely they are working together to target eye disease – in this case glaucoma, which affects the lives and vision of some 300,000 Australians alone and costs the Australian economy almost $1.5 billion annually.

MPs were taken through the Referral Pathway for Glaucoma Management, developed by RANZCO with contributions from Specsavers and many other optometrists and which Specsavers is now implementing in its stores. The Pathway, for the first time, sets out a clear division of responsibility between optometrists and ophthalmologists on how best to co-manage glaucoma.

The Pathway benefits patients by providing from a more systematic and collaborative approach to eye health management. The Government also benefits as the Pathway reduces the duplication of billable tasks, resulting in Medicare savings.

The unprecedented collaboration between Specsavers and RANZCO shows how closely ophthalmology and optometry can work together, something successive governments and health departments have asked for.

Following the event, Minister Wyatt took to Twitter to speak about the importance of having an eye test, and included the video above.

The Parliamentary Day followed on the heels of Specsavers’ announcement of a week earlier regarding its $20 million plus investment in an OCT machine for every Australian Specsavers store under a three-year rollout plan.