On Sept. 1, optometrists across Ontario decided to stop offering OHIP-insured eye exams for seniors, children, other OHIP-covered patients.
Optometrists feel ignored and left behind by three decades of successive Ontario governments. None of these provincial governments properly funded eye care.
In 1989, optometrists were paid $39.15 for OHIP-insured eye exams. Today, more than 30 years later, that fee has not even increased by $10.
Today, optometrists in Ontario are paid $44.65 on average for each OHIP-insured exam. As you can imagine, inflation has impacted nearly everything, including the cost of providing eye exams. Unfortunately, the pay we receive has not kept pace with inflation—not even close.
Great question! Rent, staffing, utilities, equipment, taxes, and supplies, not to mention the continuous education that optometrists commit themselves to, means that when we provide an eye exam covered by OHIP, we operate at a loss.
Losses are not sustainable for any industry, and optometrists are no different.
Ontario optometrists are the lowest paid in Canada. The next lowest paid province is Manitoba and optometrists there still receive more than $30 above their Ontario counterparts.
If you’re over the age of 65 or under the age of 19, or an adult with OHIP-covered eye conditions, we have made the decision to not provide exams.
But, we are still committed to your care. Eye emergencies will always be looked after. And, if you have an appointment booked during our job action, we will reach out to you and ensure you’re informed of the cancellation in a timely manner and placed on a priority list for when we begin taking OHIP exams again.
Patients who are between the ages of 20 and 64 and do not have an OHIP-covered eye condition are still being seen for exams.
No. Provincial law prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP-insured service, even if you have alternate insurance or wish to pay independently of insurance.
In our opinion, not nearly enough.
The government has offered Ontario optometrists an 8.48% increase. For a senior’s eye exam that would provide us with $51.00, still well under the next lowest-paid province of Manitoba.
When you take into account 3 decades of ignoring our profession, it simply is not good enough. We are calling on the government to properly fund eye care and ensure the sustainability of the industry for years to come.
Our clinic can be found in historic area of downtown Lindsay, Ontario. We are located right next to Kawartha Dairy Barn.