Is history about to repeat itself? Optometry has, in the past, been guilty of not pro-actively taking the lead in determining its own future, only to find that fundamental changes have taken place and rocked our foundations. For example, the loss of our monopoly on selling contact lens solutions and on supply of reading glasses, and our need to issue prescriptions to patients to facilitate eyewear purchases from a third party.
Each time, we have taken little or no part in the debate on whether these things should happen or not. After being ambivalent in the first instance, we have then done spectacularly well moaning about the outcome. Every time, we bury our heads in the sand and pretend nothing is going to happen or affects us. Why have we failed to learn from history? It is clear from the fact that so few people could be bothered to respond to the GOC’s call for views on the prospective changes that those that seek change have been handed the best argument that they could wish for: optical professionals do not care whether there is change or not, especially the changes that have been aired. The lack of argument against the changes suggests that the optical profession does not see the proposed changes as a threat to the public and, hence, there is little reason why they should not be implemented. Whether we agree with this or not is now a moot point given the evidence would appear to favour the side of those pressing for change and de-regulation.
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