Seniors’, Children’s and OHIP eye exams have ended as of September 1, 2021
Beginning September 1st, Optometrists across Ontario have stopped providing OHIP-insured eye exams for children, seniors and adults with OHIP-qualified eye conditions.
Why job action?
For over 30 years, the Ontario government has 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. This has not been adjusted for inflation and does not come close to covering the cost (including rent, staff, equipment, utilities, taxes and supplies) to provide an eye exam.
As a result, every OHIP insured eye exam is provided at a loss. This is not sustainable.
Ontario eye coverage is the lowest in Canada
Ontario is the lowest reimbursed province for optometry services in Canada. Our fees would have to increase by over 60% to meet the next lowest province. This graph compares Ontario to other provinces that fully fund eye care.
The government’s offer
You may have read that the government has offered an 8.48% increase to our fees. For a senior’s eye exam that would raise the fee to $51.00. While that seems generous, it still leaves us more than 30% lower than Manitoba, the next lowest paid province. Clearly, 8.48% cannot make up for 32 years of neglect.
We need the government to properly fund eye care and commit to a sustainable plan for the future.
Can I pay for the eye exam?
Unfortunately, no. The law in Ontario prevents anyone from paying for any OHIP insured service, whether you have your own insurance or want to pay out-of-pocket.
How Does this Affect Me?
If you are a senior (65+), a child (under 20) or an adult with OHIP covered eye conditions you appointment will be postponed until we have reached an agreement with the government.
Those patients outside of the OHIP system (i.e. between the ages of 20 – 64 without and OHIP-covered condition) will continue to be seen for their regular appointments.
Regardless of age, if you have an eye emergency please contact us for help with the appropriate next steps. This may include direction to your family doctor, an alternate specialist, or the emergency eye clinic at Joseph Brant hospital.
How Can I Help?
Please call or email your local MPP and visit saveeyecare.ca to sign our online petition. With your support, we hope to come to a fast and fair resolution with the current government.
Burlington (West/Central) MPP
If you do not live in the Burlington area, you can visit this website to find your local MPP and their contact information.