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16 April 2021

FODO Ireland member update - 16 April

This week:

Get involved as a vaccinator - deadline noon 21 April

Following our 10 March update, applications for the COVID-19 vaccinator programme will close on Wednesday 21 April at noon.

The HSE protocol sets out the qualifications, training, experience, competence and training required for optometrists to become vaccinators. It was developed in collaboration with AOI, FODO Ireland and other health system partners. Read the protocol.

Learn more and apply

Do you have a Healthmail account?

Healthmail is a secure clinical email service. Once you have an email account, you can communicate patient-identifiable clinical information with other clinicians in primary and secondary care. Primary eye care providers are increasingly using Healthmail and. FODO Ireland recommends that members sign up. If you have any questions about this, you can also email us at [email protected].

NCBI warns of cases unnecessary blindness due to waiting lists

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) has called on the government to reduce waiting lists for ophthalmology appointments.

The NCBI said: "Outpatient waiting list figures have averaged at 42,000 people annually since 2018 and worryingly 16,727 people are now waiting longer than 18 months, up from 8,168 in 2018." It added: "The number of patients seeking ophthalmology appointments has risen steadily over three years, and this is not a consequence of appointments being cancelled due to COVID-19."

The charity warns that avoidable delays result in avoidable sight loss.

Read the NCBI's complete statement

Webinar on retinal conditions

Fighting Blindness will host a series of condition-specific webinars starting 5 May. The events will cover Retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, Choroideremia, Rod-cone dystrophy and Retinal dystrophy. All the sessions in the series will be recorded and will be available after the event. Learn more and take part.

Step up for sight this July!

Fighting Blindness has launched its virtual challenge Steps for Sight. The event asks people to make their steps count this July to support 250,000 people living with sight loss in Ireland.

The charity calls on people to "Walk, wheel or run a marathon (42km/26 miles) in the month of July!". It is also planning a 10km race day on 31 July when you can walk, wheel or run 10km where you live and record your time on training apps like Strava and MapMyRun.

Learn more and get involved

Vaccination update

This week Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, published a statement on Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca). It says those who have already received Vaxzevria will be offered a second jab but that people aged under 60 will now wait 16 weeks. Read more.

Revenue - CORU fees

The Revenue has published an eBrief covering deductions for statutory registration fees paid to CORU. If you are employed, and your employer does not pay your CORU fees, you can read the eBrief and the flat rate expenses sheet for optometrists (page 3) and dispensing opticians (page 4) before you claim the flat rate expense amount.

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