New, convenient service for eye medications

Insight Optometrists is proud to announce that we can now offer therapeutic services at our Indooroopilly practice.
This means that we can prescribe a range of drugs used in the treatment of eye infections, eye diseases and glaucoma, and you no longer need to make an additional appointment with your doctor or ophthalmologist for prescriptions required to manage these diseases.

At Insight we will, of course, continue to refer patients to ophthalmologists when appropriate and work closely with them and your general practitioner in the management of complex diseases requiring specialist services.

We will also follow a policy of always notifying your doctor of any eye conditions we have diagnosed or drugs we have prescribed.

The addition of therapeutic management to our services follows the recent appointment of Daniel Lee to the practice as a full-time optometrist. Daniel has been working with us at Insight for the past four years while completing his Master of Optometry degree therapeutics endorsed at the Queensland University of Technology. He graduated in 2014.

Our practice founder Dr Jan Coetzee became a clinically endorsed optometrist within the USA when he graduated with a Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry (Boston) in 1995 and has since updated this qualification to obtain his therapeutic endorsement within Australia.

What this means for you

At Insight Optometrists we already provide comprehensive vision care including the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems, the identification of eye diseases and conditions, and the prescription of glasses and contact lenses.

For people with eye infections, major allergies affecting the eye, eye disease and glaucoma, prescription medicines are often required. Daniel is now able to provide these prescriptions and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidies generally apply to the medicines he prescribes.

What is therapeutic endorsement

Optometrists who are therapeutically endorsed are qualified to diagnose and provide management of minor and major eye diseases, including glaucoma.

To obtain this endorsement an optometrist must study the bio-medical sciences behind ocular anomalies and disorders so as to be able to prescribe a range of drugs used in the management of eye diseases. The training has a strong emphasis on inflammatory and infective disorders and glaucoma, with key knowledge of microbial drug resistance, appropriate use of steroids, therapeutic control of intraocular pressure (in glaucoma) and the criteria for referral for specialist treatment.

In addition to obtaining the necessary qualifications, therapeutically endorsed optometrists also have to apply for registration to their state board to prescribe medicines.

Why therapeutic endorsement for optometrists.

Therapeutic endorsement in now part of all optometry degrees in Australia and is aimed at providing an improved standard of eye care within the community and better public access to primary eye care at a lower cost.

Previously, despite being able to reach an accurate diagnosis on a patient’s condition, an optometrist was required to refer a patient on to an ophthalmologist or a GP for therapeutic treatment. With prescription rights, referral is no longer necessary and patients can be treated as soon as they are diagnosed, without having to make further medical appointments. This saves patients the additional time and money needed to see an ophthalmologist or GP.

This is particularly important at a time when the population is ageing (with a higher percentage of eye disease among the elderly), there is a shortage of ophthalmologists, and waiting lists are long.

Therapeutic endorsement of optometrists allows patients rapid and convenient treatment of conditions such as bacterial conjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis or inflammation of the eyelids without requiring secondary intervention from an ophthalmologist.

It also enables optometrists to play a larger role in the ongoing management of ocular diseases like cataract and glaucoma as well as in initial and post-operative co-management. Inevitably, this reduces the load on ophthalmologists and the waiting period for patients who do require secondary eye care is reduced.

An additional spin-off is a likely reduction in the prescription by of antibiotics for non-bacterial or viral inflammatory conditions by GPs who do not have the equipment to always enable them to differentiate between bacterial and non-bacterial inflammation of the eyes.