In the last 2 decades allied health professionals have made their place in the medical world, many new fields have emerged due to their excessively increasing scope in international market. In Pakistan still a wave of war persists between medical and para-medical staff due to name game, though these professions have gained remarkable reputation in the western and middle-eastern countries.
BS hons in optometry enable optometrists to measure eyesight, prescribe spectacles, contact lenses, detect visual abnormalities and manage eye injuries. They can provide weak eye sight rehabilitation and vision therapy before and after the eye surgical procedures.
Graduates of BS hons optometry can pursue their post-graduation i.e. MS/PHD in optometry and public health. MS in public health is being offered by various universities in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar but MS in optometry is only available in Lahore which is certainly not in the vicinity of every student, due to lack of institutions offering post-graduate courses students are compelled to apply in foreign universities to continue their studies as a simple graduate suffers a lot in the field and has few chances to excel in professional career. Government needs to pay strong attention regarding this dilemma of our society in order to meet international standards.
In government and federal sector, optometrists have minimum 1 to maximum 4 seats in THQ and only 1 to 2 seats in DHQ hospitals. They begin their career as grade 17 professionals and unfortunately their grade remains the same for years due to negligence of our government. It’s solely government’s responsibility to acknowledge the credibility of allied health professionals by increasing their seats in government hospitals and raising their salary packages so that they can acquire their basic rights.
BS optometry will soon be converted to Doctor of optometry as it has been upgraded in many other countries, It’s a noble degree having a bright future and multiple opportunities to excel, all we lack is a governing body and a wave of acceptance from medical professionals who strongly think that its merely their right to use the prefix Dr. prior to their name. What we all need to understand is that success lies in co-operative efforts and team work not in disputes and name game.
Optometrists can setup their private clinics, can work in government or private hospitals, research institutes and manufacturing industries. They can also pursue their career as an academician by teaching in medical colleges.
There are multiple universities in Germany, Australia, Canada, Sweden and America that offer post-graduation courses on partial and full scholarships, their entire detail is available on the sites of universities. Moreover students can work with foreign professors as research associates and research internees. In order to do clinical practice, license acquisition is necessary, there are various competency exams for above mentioned countries such as PCE for Canada, HCPC for UK and MOH for UAE and middle-eastern countries.
Success bows to them who keeps strong faith in their dreams and never give up on their goals.