September 1st Job Action
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, 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 exam. Every time we perform an OHIP-insured eye exam, we do so at a loss. This is not sustainable.
The Government’s Offer
You may have read that the government has offered us an 8.48% increase in our fees. For a senior’s exam that would raise our fee to $51.00. While that may seem 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 and make it sustainable for years to come.
Provincial Senior Eye Exam Reimbursement
Ontario is the lowest paid in Canada. Our fees would have to increase by over 60% to reach the next lowest province. The chart above compares Ontario to other provinces that fully fund eye care.
How Does this Affect Me?
If you are a senior (65+), a child (19 and under) or an adult with an OHIP-covered eye condition, 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. You will be contacted prior to your appointment in the event that your appointment needs to be cancelled due to job action.
If you are between 20-64 and do not have an OHIP-covered eye condition, we will still be able to see you.
Regardless of age, if you have an eye emergency, we will make sure that your needs are met—by means including but not limited to referral to an ophthalmologist, family doctor or hospital.
Can I Pay for My Eye Exam?
No. Unfortunately, provincial law prevents anyone for 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 and/or call our MPP.