Catalogue Number: 2168
The pensioner optometric service. Manual for optometrists
Sub-Category: Brochure/pamphlet/leaflet (optometry)
Association: The Australian Optometrical Association
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1958
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Publisher/Manufacturer: The Australian Optometrical Association
Description Of Item: Pamphlet 140 x 25 mm, 8 pages, describing a scheme devised by the Australian Optometrical Association to provide glasses for pensioners at reduced cost and the setting out for optometrists the conditions of participation and its procedures.
Historical Significance: Optometrists were sorely disadvantaged by the introduction in 1953 of a National Health Scheme by the Federal Government that paid rebates for the cost of medical services that excluded services provided by optometrists. Although a rebate was theoretically not payable when ophthalmologists wrote a prescription for glasses, there was a great shift of patients from optometrists to ophthalmologists as a result. (See Charles Wright History of Optometry 1988 Chapter 17). The scheme for pensioners described in this pamphlet was designed to attract pensioner patients to, or retain them, in optometric practices and also to promote optometry and its importance to the visual welfare of the community. Wright describes (p 103) the politics behind the genesis of this scheme. It was introduced in 1958 and may not have been a great success. Successful schemes needed the intervention of State Governments and subsidy for glasses for pensioners funded by the State, The first of these was introduced in the early 1980s in South Australia and in Victoria in 1985. The motive for these later schemes was the relieve public hospitals of the heavy burden, both in terms of cost and manpower, of being the only provider of low cost glasses for pensioners, a burden made all the more critical by the Whitlam Government's requirement in the 1970s that all hospital services (including glasses) be free of any charge.
How Acquired: Donated by Colin Bates, member of the College
Date Acquired: Feb 2013
Condition: Fair. Fold is torn
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 6