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. 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.
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. Our frame gallery remains open to everyone (by appointment), as this job action only affects eye exams.
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?
Please visit saveeyecare.ca to sign our online petition or call/email your MPP.
Randy Hillier Email: rhillier-CO@ola.org