News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Optometrist fails to provide adequate care

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Kevin Allan released a report today finding an optometrist in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code). The optometrist was found to have breached the Code for failing to recognise a woman’s need for further examination, and for failing to tell the woman to seek assistance if her eye deteriorated further.

On 5 December 2015, a woman went to her optometrist for a check-up. The woman had a history of surgically corrected short-sightedness and told her optometrist that vision in her right eye was deteriorating, that she was seeing spots (floaters), and that vision in her eye was obstructed. The optometrist examined the woman’s eye, but did not specifically examine her retina or provide her with clear advice on what to do if her symptoms deteriorated.

The woman’s vision continued to deteriorate, and on 7 January 2016 she was seen by another optometrist who found that the woman’s retina had detached, and that she required immediate surgery.

Mr Allan found that the woman’s history of short-sightedness combined with her new floater symptoms indicated the need for a dilated retinal examination at the earlier appointment. He noted that without this examination the optometrist could not exclude the possibility of a retinal tear or detachment, and was critical that she did not consider it necessary to conduct this examination. Mr Allan also found that the optometrist should have given the woman clear follow-up advice to return promptly if her vision deteriorated further.

The optometrist has retired from practice but Mr Allan has recommended that the New Zealand Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board conduct a review of her competence should she return to practice.

25 March 2019


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


More Large Birds: Giant Fossil Penguin Find In Waipara

The discovery of Crossvallia waiparensis, a monster penguin from the Paleocene Epoch (between 66 and 56 million years ago), adds to the list of gigantic, but extinct, New Zealand fauna. These include the world’s largest parrot, a giant eagle, giant burrowing bat, the moa and other giant penguins. More>>

Wellington: Little Blue Penguins Near Station Again

There have been more sightings of penguins near Wellington Railway Station on Sunday night, this time waddling into a parking building above a burger restaurant. More>>


Heracles inexpectatus: Giant Ex-Parrot Discovered

“New Zealand is well known for its giant birds. Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. But until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot – anywhere.” More>>


Howard Davis: Sam Brooks' Burn Her Sets Circa Theatre Ablaze

Burn Her is engaging, witty, and exceptionally sharp, with every line of dialogue inserted for a reason and perfectly delivered by the two leads, who manage to command their space without competing against each other. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland