Eye health

Dear Editor:

Optometrists are the backbone of Ontario’s vision care and eye health system. But, for more than 30 years, governments have failed to invest in eye care.

As a result, OHIP now only covers half the cost of an eye exam. Optometrists pay the rest out of their own pocket; this situation is unfair and unsustainable.

Today, with optometry practices beginning the process of gradually re-opening, many optometrists are facing a crisis. To comply with physical distancing directives from the government and the College of Optometrists of Ontario, optometrists can only see half the number of patients they did before COVID-19. This will wipe out nearly two million comprehensive eye exams over the next 12 months.

With statistics showing that one in three Ontarians will have some form of vision-threatening eye disease by the age of 65, finding a sustainable solution is ever more pressing. The Ontario government needs to open its eyes to a crisis that’s about to become visible for all to see.

Help us save eye care in Ontario. Go to SaveEyeCare.ca and tell the Ontario government to reform OHIP for a more sustainable eye care system. Please write to the Minister of Health and support continued  access to eye care in your community. My patients and I are relying on you.

Dr. Thadshika Parthipan,