As of September 1, we will stop providing OHIP insured eye care services. This will affect seniors, children and some adults with certain medical or eye conditions.
Why are optometrists doing this?
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, the fee paid is on average $44.65. This has not kept up with inflation and only covers approximately ½ of the cost (occupancy costs, staff, utilities, equipment, taxes, supplies, etc.) of providing the service. Every time we provide an OHIP insured eye exam, we do so at a loss. This is not sustainable. We are doing this because we are looking for a solution that will allow quality eye care to be available to all our patients in the future.
For those provinces which provide a similar publicly funded service, Ontario is by far the lowest for reimbursement.
The Government’s Offer
You may have read the government has offered us an 8.48% increase on our fees. For a senior’s exam that would raise our fee to about $51.00. While this may appear generous, it still leaves us about 30% below Manitoba’s reimbursement, the next lowest province, and would still be far from covering our costs.
How Does This Affect You?
If you are a senior (65+), a child (19 and under) or an adult with an OHIP insured condition such as diabetes, we will be unable to see you. Provincial law prevents you, or your third-party insurance from paying for an OHIP insured examination. For those who already have an appointment scheduled, we will be contacting you week by week to place your names on a priority booking list so that we can see you when this crisis is resolved.
If you are between the ages of 20 – 64 and do not have an OHIP insured condition (or have a non-OHIP insured need) we are still able to provide you with service. If you have an emergency eye situation, please do call our office so that we can help you get the appropriate care.
How can I help?
You can help us work toward finding a solution by visiting saveeyecare.ca to sign our online petition and writing or calling your MPP.
Monte McNaughton, MPP Minister of Labour
81 Front Street West
Strathroy, Ontario N7G 1X6
Tel: (519) 245-8696