OAO FUNDING DISPUTE WITH PROVINCE ESCALATES-AUGUST 12 2020

Libby Znaimer is joined by Dr. Sheldon Salaba, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been bringing you periodic updates on the state of eyecare and how to access it. At its height, optometrists had to close their practises and were only seeing emergency cases even though they were not paid for tele-health services the way doctors are. Since reopening they have been focussing on providing regular exams and eyecare. They have been running a campaign to tell people that their practises are in jeopardy because the fees paid by the government do not cover the costs, which are subsidized by non-insured services. The OAO has advised its members to redirect emergencies to hospitals – the new COVID related restrictions severely limit the number of patients they can see. It’s been characterized as a job action that is costing the health system 250,000 dollars a day. Is that the real situation?