0051 Optometry Australia

General information

Submitterʼs name
Optometry Australia
Submitted on behalf of
Professional body or industry association

About the submission

Are you an Australian assessing authority for migration purposes?
No
Please select the industry your submission is in relation to. If required, you may select multiple industries.
Health Care and Social Assistance
Do you have a particular regional interest? If required, you may select multiple regions.
National

Responses

1. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)?

No

2. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?

No

3. Do you consider that occupations need to be removed from the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSSL) or the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?

Yes

What occupations should be removed from the MLTSSL or the STSOL?

251411 Optometrist

Please outline the evidence or data that would support these occupations being removed from the MLTSSL or STSOL.

A study addressing the supply of optometrists and the demand for optometry services from 2011 to 2036, found that there were sufficient optometrists to meet demand, with likely substantial excess supply in the short term. (Healy, E., Kiely P. M. and Arunachalam, D. (2015) Optometric Supply and Demand in Australia: 2011-2036. Clinical and Experimental Optometry 98(3)). Using census data corrected to account for the ageing population, attrition of the optometric workforce, changes in hours worked, new entry level graduates and immigration, it was estimated that for the highest projected demand scenario and lowest rate of dedicated clinical hours per equivalent full-time optometrist (EFTO), that the supply of EFTOs in 2016 would outstrip demand for services by around 150 EFTO; in 2021 by close to 630 EFTO; and by 2036 by over 1,200 EFTO.
This workforce study was finalised in 2014, the year when the first cohort from a new optometry course graduated. Until 2013 there had been three optometry schools in Australia producing graduates who could register to practise optometry in Australia. In 2017 there are 5 courses with a new course to start in 2018, doubling the number of optometry courses in less than 10 years and considerably increasing the number of people able to enter the workforce. With sufficient optometrists to meet the needs of the profession with projected excesses in the future from only 4 courses previously, there should be even greater excesses with 6 courses.
In 2015, 3 new registrants entered the workforce for every optometrist who did not renew their registration from 2014 (source: The National Health Workforce Dataset (NHWDS) Optometry 2015 www.data.hwa.gov.au).
In June 2017 there were 4,722 people per optometrist. In 1977 the corresponding figure was approximately 16,000 people per optometrist.
Optometry is not an ageing profession, the average age has remained close to 40 in recent years.
Optometry work hours have not increased in recent years.
Do you have any supporting material for your submission?
Yes (see attachments)

Last modified on Wednesday 17 January 2018 [39781|101276]