I posted several notices on Facebook asking you to sign in support of the optometrist's job action.
After three decades of being underpaid by the government, the optometrists felt it was time to take a stand. Over the past thirty years, the increase in the payment they receive has only gone up by a total of $5 while the number of seniors needing their services has increased by 70 percent. The average cost for an optometrist to see a patient is $80 and they are getting less than $50 of that from the government for seniors and children. To see all those patients who are covered by OHIP every year at such a loss is just not sustainable. They want that gap filled, and who can blame them. Right now that money is coming out of their own pockets
When I posted those requests to sign in support of the optometrists, I thought that if I did need to go see one I would just have to pay like all the other adults who have not become seniors yet. Well, it turns out that the government has made it illegal for those who are eligible for OHIP services to pay out of pocket for an eye exam. That means that if we need to see our eye doctor, we simply cannot. As of the beginning of September, the optometrists taking part in this job action are not allowed to see us. That means that all those patients that use over four million services on an annual basis no longer have access to optometry services.
I recently had cataract surgery and needed new glasses to read with afterward. I got them but I find that they don't work well for me. I took them back to where I got them and the prescription was checked and was correct. I was told to go back to my eye doctor. I did that yesterday. Or tried to. A technician there also checked my glasses against the prescription and once again no problem was found. I explained that when I try to read I keep finding myself closing one eye. She tried to get the optometrist to see me, and was told the doctor was not allowed because I was covered by OHIP. While I totally support her position, I find myself caught in the crossfire. I have read a few stories in the news of others with even worse problems so the sooner this job action is settled, the better.
I have been put on a list......a very long list, I'm told.....to be called when an appointment can legally be made. But just think of how many people who would normally have regular appointments, let alone ones for problems, will be on this ever-growing list. It's bad enough things have slowed down due to the pandemic, but this is going to create a real bottleneck once the offices are open once again to seniors.
Please contact your MPP and help get this problem solved. Even if you are not personally affected, I'm sure there is someone in your life who will be. Here's the link you need. Home - Save Eye Care