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Oregon Optometrists Seek Broader Scope of Practice

They want the right to perform certain surgical procedures.

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Legislation is being considered in Oregon to give optometrists the right to perform certain surgical procedures.

The Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology opposes the bill, the Portland Business Journal reports.

The news outlet reports that the legislation would allow ODs “the ability to perform scalpel and laser surgery on and around the eye.”

Dr. Anita Bacon, optometrist with Eye Department in Portland, said the change would enable ODs to “practice to their highest level of education and training.”

But Dr. Julie Falardeau, president of the Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology, said that “to suggest that traditional medical and surgical training is no longer necessary to safely perform eye surgery is dangerously misleading.”

The bill, known as HB 2541, was set for a public hearing last week before the House Committee on Health Care, according to the Business Journal.

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Scope-of-practice debates have emerged among eyecare providers in many states. For example, legislation in Massachusetts recently expanded optometrists’ scope of practice so that they can provide glaucoma treatment.

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