Blue Book published

ECOO has published its Blue Book which includes comprehensive data about the optometry and optics professions across Europe

Blue Book published
The European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) has published its 2015 Blue Book which provides insight into optometry and optics across Europe. 

Information is gathered through surveys from optometric and optical associations in 29 ECOO member countries across Europe. The latest data shows very different professional landscapes for the professions across Europe, including a varied scope of practice. 

Interestingly, the report highlights that “with the rising costs of medical care and the decline of the number of ophthalmologists in some countries in Europe, primary eye health is transferred increasingly to optometrists and opticians.” 

However, it states that the opportunities for optometrists and dispensing opticians to develop beyond their traditional roles and offer primary health care “is not uniform.” 

The Blue Book contains data on the number and size of the profession in each country, the status, and scope of practice of the profession, its role in public health, and the education and training provided. 

Past president of ECOO, Dr Julie-Anne Little, said: “The data clearly shows that the professional landscape is scattered and each country has its unique profile. However, comparison of these data over the years also demonstrates the progress the profession is making in terms of scope of practice and educational levels.” 

“We hope that the Blue Book contributes to a better understanding of the professional landscape of optometry and optics in Europe,” she added. 

The first Blue Book, which proved valuable to professionals, policy-makers and academics alike, was published in 2008.  

Commenting on the update, president of ECOO, Paul Folkesson, said: “The Blue Book has had considerable success over the past years, with many stakeholders using the information and calling for new data. We have therefore engaged in updating the data together with our members.” 

ECOO has said that it will update the book “on a regular basis,” to capture the data as a ‘snapshot’ every two years.