On September 1st Ontario Optometrists will be withdrawing all OHIP-insured eye exams. This affects children, seniors, and adults with certain eye conditions. This does not affect access to care if you generally have to pay for your eye exams.
The Ontario government, over the last 30 years, has ignored Optometrists. Over the last 32 years, the fee has changed from $39.15 (in 1989) to an average of $44.65 today. This has not kept up with inflation and does not cover the overhead costs of providing the eye exam (rent, salaries, utilities, equipment, supplies, and taxes). As a result, your optometry office performs every OHIP eye exam at a loss. This is unfair and unsustainable.
Ontario Optometrists are the lowest paid in the country. And, our fees would have to increase by over 70% to meet the next lowest province. The bar graph compares our fees to other provinces that fully fund eye exams.
The government has violated the set rules of mediation and has leaked their offer to Ontario Optometry, which included an 8.48% increase in our fees. This would take the fee paid for a senior up to $50.95, which still would require an increase of over 50% to meet the next lowest province. This increase does not make up for 32 years of funding neglect. The government needs to address the sustainability of eye care in Ontario, and this offer does nothing to change the current situation.
If you are a senior (65+), a child (19 and under) or an adult with OHIP-covered eye conditions, we will be postponing your appointment until the government agrees to find a sustainable funding model. Our office will be monitoring appointments, triaging, redirecting, and referring all those that need care to their family doctors, specialists, or to the hospital, and we will ensure that any eye emergencies are taken care of.
Once the government agrees to a sustainable model, we will contact our patients to rebook their eye exams.
Please visit saveeyecare.ca to sign our online petition or call/email your MPP.