EYE CARE IS AT RISK
September 1st Job Action
Beginning September 1, Optometrist across Ontario stopped providing OHIP insured eye exams for children, seniors and adults with OHIP covered eye conditions.
IMPORTANT NOTICE AS OF DECEMBER 2021:
The Ontario Association of Optometrist (OAO) and the Ministry of Health have agreed to enter formal negotiations regarding OHIP funding of optometric care. As a sign of good faith, the OAO is pausing its job action, ensuring that millions of Ontarians insured by OHIP can again benefit from the expertise of their optometrist during these negotiations.
Please be patient as we work through our wait list, but know that we are excited to have our patients back in the office
Why Job Action?
For over 30 years, successive Ontario governments have ignored Optometrists. In 1989 the fee paid for an OHIP insured eye exam was $39.15, today, over 32 years later, it is on average of $44.65. This has not kept up with inflation and does not come close to covering the cost (including rent, staff, utilities, equipment, taxes and supplies) to provide an eye exam. Every time we perform an OHIP insured eye exam we do so at a loss. This is no longer sustainable.
Ontario is the lowest paid in Canada for optometric services. Our fees would have to increase by over 60% to reach the next lowest province. The chart above compares Ontario to other provinces that fully fund eye care.
The Government’s Offer
You may have heard the government has offered us an 8.48% increase in our fees. For a senior’s eye exam that would raise our fee to $51.00 While that seems generous, it still leaves us more than 30% lower than Manitoba, the next lowest paid province. Unfortunately, an 8.48% increase does not make up for the 32 years of neglect.
We need the government to prioritize and properly fund eye care to make it sustainable for years to come.
How Does this Affect Me?
If you are a senior (65+), a child (19 and under) or an adult with OHIP covered eye conditions, we will not be able to see you. If you have an appointment booked during our job action, our team will be reaching out to you and put you on a priority booking list so we can see you when job action is over. You will be contacted the Friday before your appointment in the event your appointment needs to be cancelled due to job action.
If you are between the ages of 20-64 (and do not have an OHIP covered conditon) we can still see you for an eye exam.
Regardless of age, if you have an eye emergency we will ensure you get taken care of.
Can I pay for the eye exam?
No, unfortunately, provincial law prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP insured service, even if you have your own insurance.