Beginning September 1st, optometrists across Ontario will stop providing OHIP-insured eye exams for children, seniors, and adults with OHIP-covered eye conditions.
For over 30 years, successive Ontario governments have ignored optometrists. In 1989, OHIP paid $39.15 for an eye exam; today, over 32 years later, it pays an average of $44.65. This meager increase falls far short of inflation and covers only a fraction of the current cost of providing an eye exam (including rent, staff, utilities, equipment, taxes, and supplies). Every single OHIP-insured eye exam we perform is done so at a loss, which is unsustainable. The government has forced us to choose between bankruptcy and job action.
You may have read that the government has offered optometrists an increase of 8.48%. While that may seem generous to some, 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 your health care with addional funding to make it sustainable for years to come.
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.
If you are a senior (65+), a child (19 and under), or an adult with OHIP-covered eye conditions, unfortunately we will be unable 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 week 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), this job action does not affect you. We can still see you for an eye exam.
Regardless of age, if you have an eye emergency we will work with you to find care.
No. Unfortunately, provincial law prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP-insured service -- even if you have your own insurance.
Please visit SaveEyeCare.ca and click on Take Action. Scroll down to where you can enter your name and email address to send a prewritten letter to your MPP to show your support for optometrists in Ontario.
Dr. Jennifer Davis
Portions copyright Abbey Eye Care, used with permission