Connect with us

Headlines

Ontario Optometrists: Increase Funding or We’ll Withdraw Public Services

They want to be paid ‘at least the cost of service delivery’ for OHIP services.

mm

Published

on

Ontario optometrists are threatening to withhold services provided under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan unless the provincial government agrees to pay more for them.

The Ontario Association of Optometrists said its members voted to halt the services as of Sept. 1 unless the government agrees to legally binding negotiations.

“Government neglect has jeopardized access to eye care for those who need it most, undervaluing the eye health of Ontarians,” said Dr. Sheldon Salaba, president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. “Optometrists are being fair and reasonable: we ask only that government commit to cover at least the cost of service delivery, and we’re giving them lots of notice to avoid any impact on patients.”

Advertisement

Read the OAO’s press release:

After the Ontario Budget again ignored OHIP-insured eye care, an overwhelming 96% of Ontario optometrists have voted to withdraw OHIP services starting September 1, 2021 — unless the government agrees to legally-binding negotiations to fund these services at least to the cost of delivery.

After more than 30 years of underfunding, the government now covers an average of 55 per cent of the cost of an OHIP-insured eye exam, leaving optometrists’ clinics to absorb the other 45 percent. With more than four million services delivered annually under OHIP and clinics under severe financial strain, the system is no longer sustainable.

“Government neglect has jeopardized access to eye care for those who need it most, undervaluing the eye health of Ontarians,” said Dr. Sheldon Salaba, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO). “Optometrists are being fair and reasonable: we ask only that government commit to cover at least the cost of service delivery, and we’re giving them lots of notice to avoid any impact on patients.”

Unlike other health care providers under OHIP, optometrists have never been given a formal negotiation process with the government. Despite multiple direct requests to the Minister of Health to address this chronic underfunding, the budget again ignored the dire warnings from eye care stakeholders of the impending crisis.

“Vision is our most important sense, and our political leaders must help us protect it,” said Dr. Salaba. “After almost three years in office, it’s time for action from Premier Ford and Minister Elliott. They must ensure Ontarians continue to receive the quality eye care they depend on and deserve.”

Advertisement

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

SPONSORED VIDEO

Sponsored by Shamir

Customer Focused, Service Oriented, Forward Thinking

Shamir is the recognized world leader in custom-designed technology for life improvement, fashion, performance sports, occupational single vision, and progressive lenses. Our values, the driving force behind our ideas and actions, keep the ECP in the center. Every Shamir representative is personally committed to our customers’ vision, and to providing the best service and support to meet and exceed their expectations, all with a personal touch.

Click here for more information.

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe

INVISIONMAG.COM
BULLETINS

Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.

Advertisement

Most Popular