As a valued patient in our practice, I need to inform you of the crisis in Ontario vision care. Optometry has been underfunded in Ontario for my entire 32 year career. Since 1989 my rent has doubled, the minimum wage has doubled, and yet our reimbursement for eye exams has only gone up 8% in 31 years. This means that optometrists in Ontario are subsidizing half of the cost of an eye exam every time we see a patient covered by OHIP-namely children, seniors, and those with visually threatening diseases.
I know that you are aware of the significant amount of time we spend with you, the wonderful staff we have, and the continual updating of our technology and education in order to care for your precious vision. We appreciate your paying for high tech imaging (Optomap and OCT) but even that is not enough for us to be able to keep doing our job. Ontario optometrists are now the lowest paid in Canada by far.
Prior to the COVID shutdown (during which time this practice took on significant additional debt) the Ontario Association of Optometrists was told by the Ontario government that after almost 2 years of negotiations nothing would change with our reimbursement and further talks were refused. Since then, the cost of PPE and the length of time each exam takes has increased in order to keep patients and staff safe.
I am now asking for your help. Please visit www.SaveEyeCare.ca to petition the government to properly fund eye care. More information is available there should you need it before signing.
We are thrilled to be back to caring for your eyes, even with the masks and the continual cleaning required in these extraordinary times. We sincerely hope that any job action we are forced to take in the next few weeks won’t impact the high quality of vision care that you have always received from us at Pierce Family Vision. However, we are exhausted and we are saddened that it has now come to this point.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Patti Ellison OD (& Manvit Singh BSc OD, Tristan Faria BSc OD and all the staff at Pierce Family Vision)