On September 1st, Ontario Optometrists will be participating in a province wide service withdrawal of OHIP insured eye exams. Here at Bronte Village Eye Care, your eye care is our number one priority. We want you to know we have a plan to protect access to quality eye care and we are committed to ensuring you get the quality eye care you deserve.
For more than 30 years, the Ontario government has failed to adequately fund eye care. For more than 30 years, the Ontario government has refused to formally negotiate with optometrists.
In 1989, the Ontario government paid $39.15 for an eye exam.
Thirty-two years later, in 2021, the Ontario government pays on average $44.65 for an eye exam.
That fee does not come close to covering the office expenses such as staff, rent, utilities, equipment, and supplies required to provide an eye exam.
The level of funding for OHIP-insured eye exams is not sustainable.
The fee for an OHIP insured eye exam has not kept up with inflation. Without proper OHIP funding for Optometry services, patient care will inevitably suffer. Optometrists will be forced to limit the number of OHIP patients seen or will have to dramatically reduce the time spent with each patient in order to recover our losses.
It’s time for the Ontario government to stop forcing Optometrists to pay out of pocket for each OHIP patient seen.
Ontario Optometrists are by far the lowest paid in Canada. Our fees would have to increase by 60% in order to reach the second lowest funded province.
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.
Unfortunately, those who will be impacted the most are the groups OHIP is supposed to protect; our children, seniors and those with existing eye diseases. If the government continues to ignore this issue, Ontario optometrists will be left with no choice but to stop providing OHIP services starting September 1st, 2021.
This means that any person who is OHIP-insured for their eye exam will not be able to see an optometrist, including those 19 years of age and under, 65 years of age and over, and adults with eye diseases related to diabetes, glaucoma and cataracts.
Ontario law makes it illegal for optometrists to accept direct payment or alternate health insurance from OHIP-insured patients. As a result, these patients will simply not be able to book an appointment starting September 1st.
At Bronte Village Eye Care, we are fighting for your continued access to quality eye care. For those of you who may have existing appointments after September 1st, or for those with eye diseases who require frequent monitoring we understand this is a difficult situation. We want you to know that this service withdrawal comes as a last resort. Our Association has attempted to come to a fair resolution with the government for many years. We have been ignored time and time again.
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 while the service withdrawal is taking place. If we need to cancel your appointment, we will put you on a priority waiting list and will reschedule your appointment as soon as we are able.
If you have an ocular emergency during the service withdrawal, we will ensure you are taken care of. Please call our office with your concerns and we will provide instructions to you.
If you are between 20-64 and are not OHIP insured, we can still see you for your eye exam.
If you or your family uses OHIP-insured services, and you want to help us ensure access to your doctor is not at risk, please visit SaveEyeCare.ca to sign an electronic letter to tell our elected government officials that eye care matters to you!
You can find our clinic right on Marine Drive, just one block from the Bronte Harbour. We’re close to shopping and other amenities, and parking is ample. Come see us soon!
We co-manage many corrective eye surgeries.