You may have seen some news stories that optometrists in our province have started job action against the government of Ontario. So why are we doing it and what are we asking for?
Currently OHIP pays for less than half of what it costs to provide an eye examination. The Ontario government has only increased what they pay for an exam by a total of 8% over the past 30 years. In the same period, the cost of inflation has risen by 75%. Optometrists simply cannot afford to subsidize heath care out of our own pockets any longer. Covid-19 has only increased the cost of providing these services and exacerbated an already unsustainable and broken system.
Eye care is in real danger in Ontario. If practices close, patient care will decline as wait times become longer and longer. Family doctors will be forced to deal with eye emergencies they are ill-equipped to manage. More and more patients will be diverted to emergency rooms. This puts patients at risk and will cost our health care system more in the long run.
Optometrists have tried to address this numerous times over the past 10 years. Every single time the Ontario government has walked away from negotiations. Now we are asking the government to come back to the negotiating table in good faith. We are asking them to work with us to find a solution that will enable us to continue to provide outstanding care for all our patients.
Please visit https://saveeyecare.ca/ and click on Take Action to send a letter to your MPP to show your support for optometrists in Ontario. Let the government know that they need to come back to the table and find a solution that benefits all Ontarians.