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 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 $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 not sustainable.
ONTARIO IS THE LOWEST PAID IN CANADA
Our fees would have to increase by over 60% to reach the next lowest province (Manitoba) and 120% to reach the 3rd 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 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.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Please visit saveeyecare.ca to sign our online petition
Call/email your MPP and be sure to mention:
- 97% of Optometrists support the Job Action
- CARP (Canadian Assoication of Retired Persons) strongly supports the Job Action and is deeply disappointed with the governments underfunding.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR MPP
- Ontario’s optometrists are the lowest paid in the country.
- The provincial government hasn’t negotiated in good faith for 30 years.
- The government has stated its offer is the same offer that physicians have accepted, but Ontario physicians were already the second highest paid in the country. The 8% increase offered to optometrists still leaves Ontario’s optometrists as the lowest paid in the country. (It would take an increase of 60% just to raise Ontario’s optometrists to the second lowest.)