Retrenchment liability by Mark Corke

So often I speak to sellers of businesses who tell me how concerned they are that the future of their staff will be safe after their businesses have been sold.

While this may be an admirable sentiment, it is rather more self-serving than the sellers often realise. The failure of the purchaser to look after the business, keep it afloat, and keep the staff employed is something which should be rather closer to the heart of the seller than one would at first imagine. Continue reading

Possible new treatments for inherited retinal diseases identified


A total of 40 new treatments are currently been developed to target inherited retinal disease, sight loss charity Fight for Sight has announced. 

The treatments are being explored by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Horizon Scanning Centre (HSC) in partnership with the charity. 

They include nine new gene therapy approaches, 10 medical devices, five drug technologies, and five regenerative and cell development approaches. The majority of the technologies which have been identified are already been explored through clinical trails, or are expected to be shortly. Continue reading

A Girl Left Her Contacts In For 6 Months and Amoebas Ate Her Eyeballs


It sounds like a classic urban myth, the sort of thing that would be shared wildly until counteracted by Snopes. However, Taiwanese undergraduate Lian Kao really has beenblinded as a result of not changing her contact lenses.

The space between contact lenses and the eye is well suited to allowing microorganisms that don’t like oxygen to breed, and worse still, feed on the cornea. Acanthamoeba represents the main threat, and in Kao’s case six months of not removing her lenses gave it ample time to become established. Continue reading

Essilor partners with VAO on three-year programme


Essilor has announced that it will support Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) in the development of a three-year programme based in Ethiopia. 

Co-funded by the UK Department for International Development through a Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF) grant, the programme focuses on providing access to eye care to people living in five districts of south-central Ethiopia. 

To be delivered in partnership with the Ethiopian non-government organisation, Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber (GTM), VAO will place emphasis on ensuring that, women and children – groups which often miss out on mainstream healthcare initiatives – can access the services. Continue reading

The issue of liability for payment of practitioners’ account

Please find attached an article which Advocate Renee van Rooyen deals specifically with physiotherapy treatments rendered. The memo covers issues which are relevant to SAOA members, including the liability of a third party for payment of a patient’s accounts, the relationship between a medical aid, its members and practitioners, the powers of the HPCSA in relation to billing disputes and the position where a person alleges that they are only happy to be liable for that portion of the account which the medical aid has agreed to cover. Please note this memo is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advic.

For more information visit

Regeneration of retinal ganglion cell axons and gene therapy

Because the adult mammalian central nervous system has only limited intrinsic capacity to regenerate connections after injury, due to factors both intrinsic and extrinsic to the mature neuron, therapies are required to support the survival of injured neurons and to promote the long-distance regrowth of axons back to their original target structures.

The retina and optic nerve are part of the CNS and this system is much used in experiments designed to test new ways of promoting regeneration after injury. Continue reading

Wearable computer gloves ‘help teach braille’


More than 39 million people around the world are blind. For many of these individuals, braille – a reading and writing system that utilizes a series of raised dots that represent letters, numbers and punctuation – is a valuable tool. Now, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a wearable computer glove that can teach braille, even when the user’s attention is on another activity.

The research team – including Thad Starner, a professor at Georgia Tech and a technical/lead manager on Google’s Project Glass – first created a technology-enhanced glove back in 2008, called Piano Touch. The glove could teach individuals how to play piano melodies in 45 minutes. Continue reading