Welcome to our Fall Newsletter! In this edition we would like to provide more information about the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ job action and our annual donation month in support of Optometry Giving sight. Lastly, we have some important news to share with our Bolton patients.
As you may already be aware, our office, along with hundreds of optometry practices in Ontario, has been participating in job action since June to call on the Ontario government to provide more support to optometrists in providing eye care to OHIP-eligible patients. We’d like to address a few frequently asked questions:
1) How are optometrists losing money in seeing patients?
OHIP covers eye care for children up to age 19, seniors over 65, and patients ages 20-64 with certain health conditions such as diabetes. The average cost of an eye exam (including staff pay, equipment, and other overhead costs) is $80; OHIP only pays at $47 for each covered exam, thus optometrists have to cover that difference out of their own pockets. As the population ages and more of our patient base will be covered by OHIP, this loss will grow, and will not be sustainable for our practices!
2) I’m not covered by OHIP and pay for my eye exams out of pocket. Why does this matter to me?
This lack of funding may not affect you today, but it probably affects people you know – your grandparents, parents, children, other family members, and friends. And if the system continues as it has for the past thirty years, it will eventually affect your eye care, too – many years down the road when you’re a senior, in a few years when you develop a chronic eye condition, or even tomorrow if you were to have an ocular emergency.
3) What are optometrists asking for?
We are asking the government to come to a solution with us that allows Ontarians to maintain their eye care support through OHIP, while allowing us to reach a sustainable solution. With proper funding from the government, we can build a solution that works over the long term and protects crucial access to eye care for all covered Ontarians.
We would like to thank everyone who has already signed our petition in office, or sent a letter online! If you would like more information or to send a letter to the Ontario government, please visit www.SaveEyeCare.ca.
Optometry Giving Sight is an organization that our practice has been donating to annually in support of their efforts to provide eye care to those in need. Their initiatives include training local eye care professionals; establishing schools, vision centers and optical labs; and delivering eye exams and low- to no-cost glasses. Every October, we host a donation month to raise funds to support OGS. We understand these are hard times for everyone, so any donation is greatly appreciated, and all donations will be matched by our office!
Our dear Dr. Nicol is officially retiring after over forty years of practice. He was highly respected in the field of optometry and by his patients, and he will be dearly missed! Dr. Nicol would like to thank everyone for their years of loyalty to his office and wishes all his patients the best as they continue to visit us at Bolton Eye Care! We wish Dr. Nicol all the best in his many years of retirement.
Thank you for reading our newsletter! Look out for our next newsletter in the Winter. Until then, we wish you good health and happiness.
Dr. Daniel Rayman & Associates