Register of Masters of Optometry: the response of the Associations
An opinion of the new Register has been given by the new coalition formed by AdOO, Assogruppi Ottica, Federottica and Federgruppi
Following the news we published July 4 about the first session of examinations for enrollment in the Register of Masters of Optometry, the Associations have given their views on the issue:
"With reference to the press releases published on B2Eyes and Mido365, which promoted the creation of a Register of Masters of Optometry, the coalition formed by the Roll of Optometrists, Assogruppi Ottica, Federottica and Federgruppi Ottica would like to point out the following.
As we know, the profession of optometrist has not been specifically regulated in Italy to date.
From this aspect, it is desirable to promote educational initiatives or the creation of lists or registers. However, it must be pointed out that they are solely and exclusively of a private nature without any public recognition or value.
Given the above, we believe that the aforementioned press releases are seriously misleading.
In fact they place considerable emphasis on the creation of a register described (with capital letters) as "Registro dell'Optometrista Magistrale", but at no point do they draw attention to the fact this is a private initiative without any public importance.
Indeed, they even specifically declare that
"Certification by a third-party entity that is qualified and recognized at national level and the creation of the Register give Italy's optometry profession a sound, official status after many failed attempts."
The presence of a private third-party entity may give the initiative a certain weight, but given that it is a private initiative, it is highly improbable that it would "give Italy's optometry profession a sound, official status"
Following a meeting with attorney Silvia Stefanelli, specialized in health law and advertising, it emerged that the content of the press releases – the wording and failure to mention that the initiative is a private one – is misleading in that they make readers believe that the initiative is of national value with a "decisional" power that is totally non-existent.
As such, they are in breach of art. 2 letter b) of Italian Legislative Decree 145/2007 with regard to misleading advertising.
From this viewpoint, we refer also to the numerous decisions on the subject by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (the Italian Antitrust Authority), including AGCM PS623 in Gazette 9/2009 – Centro Italiano Studi - in which the Authority pointed out that "misleading information and the omission of appropriate statements regarding the characteristics of the activity carried out by the professional and the value of the certificates issued are the principal parameters to which consumers refer when they make their financial decisions in the sector under examination".