SAVE EYE CARE
EYE CARE IN ONTARIO IS AT RISK
Senior’s, Children’s and OHIP eye exams will end SEPTEMBER 1st
Beginning September 1st, Optometrists across Ontario will stop providing OHIP insured eye exams for children, seniors and adults with OHIP covered eye conditions.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
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 $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. Remember, in 1989, the minimum wage was $5 an hour and now 32 years later, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. A chocolate bar in 1989 was 40 cents and now it is about $1.25. Most goods and services have increased by at least 3-fold. The Ontario government has not adjusted our fees to inflation for 30 years but our expenses (rent, utilities, wages, etc.) have gone up 3-fold. Can you understand our frustration? 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 – $173 million every year. Every time we perform an OHIP insured eye exam we do so at a loss. This is not sustainable.
ONTARIO IS THE LOWEST PAID PROVINCE IN CANADA
Our fees would have to increase by over 60% to reach the next lowest province. The bar graph here compares Ontario to other provinces that fully fund eye care.
THE GOVERNMENT’S OFFER
You may have read 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 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 job action our team will reach 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 condition) 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 MY EYE EXAM?
No. Unfortunately, provincial law prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP insured service, even if you have your own insurance.
HOW CAN I HELP?
If you want to help us ensure access to your doctor is not at risk, please visit SaveEyeCare.ca to sign an electronic letter to tell our elected government officials that eye care matters to you!
Or call or write to your MPP directly:
Hon. David Piccini (Northumberland-Peterborough South)
117 Peter Street
Port Hope, ON
Tel: (905) 372-4000
Help us to save eye care in Ontario so we can continue to put your eye care first!