There are certain phenomena in the industry of optometry that have manifested over the years. As we all know, the four months through summer, are responsible for sixty to seventy percent of the collective annual turnover. I have never been able to come up with a plausible reason for this. The need for eye care for the nation, must surely be spontaneous and consistent throughout the year. In days gone by, one could argue, that big turnovers in December and January were driven by the year-end cut off of medical aid benefits. Those days are gone, since the advent of managed care, capitation and savings accounts in the medical aid industry. Yet, the revenue pattern remains. Moreover, sometimes the good times will stretch through to say, March and all of a sudden, for no reason at all, the run may come to a grinding halt. This will happen in Cape Town and Mbombela at the same time! Why is that?
Another mystery to me is the fact that only 14,6% of South Africans wear a visual correction (SA Statistics and TGI). This is totally out of sync with other Western countries. Why is that?
Research shows, that on average, only around twenty percent of e mails are ever opened. This is corroborated by Vision’s own mailers. Why it that?
Optometry has a huge gender imbalance. More than seventy percent of optometrists are female (HPCSA registrations). How did that come about?
Another thing that intrigues me is the continued pursuit of turning out graduates by our teaching institutions, whilst the greater majority of practicing optometrists have thousands upon thousands of empty chair slots on their books every year. Do the exercise yourself by going through your appointment book for the past year. Why is that?
However, what we do know, is that the season is once again upon us, and that it is time to settle down and make the best of it.