Ontario optometrists withdraw OHIP-covered services after breakdown in talks

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,020
1,172
113
Ontario optometrists withdraw OHIP-covered services after breakdown in talks
The province has offered to increase reimbursement by 8.48%. Optometrists want an increase of 70% to close the gap

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Sep 01, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Optometrists in Ontario are poised to withdraw services covered by provincial health insurance starting tomorrow following a breakdown in talks with the government.
Optometrists in Ontario are poised to withdraw services covered by provincial health insurance starting tomorrow following a breakdown in talks with the government. PHOTO BY FILES /Postmedia
Article content
Ontario optometrists were to withdraw provincially insured eye services starting Wednesday, after a breakdown in talks with the provincial government over reimbursement of costs.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
The province’s health plan covers annual eye exams for residents aged 19 and under, 65 and older and people with specific health conditions.

Rose McGowan: Oprah Winfrey 'as fake as they come'
Close sticky video

Trackerdslogo
The head of the Ontario Association of Optometrists said optometrists would start calling affected patients to cancel appointments and place them on waiting lists on Wednesday.

Dr. Sheldon Salaba said his group’s members are currently paying for around 45 per cent of those services and says the job action comes after disappointing talks on the issue with the government.

He said there will be a delay in service for people covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan until talks resume. However, he said people should still contact optometrists with emergencies for help reaching a family doctor or another health-care setting.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“We are going to help them navigate, depending on what is happening to them, the best option for them to receive care,” Salaba said Tuesday.

The province has offered to pay optometrists $39 million to retroactively account for increased costs of services.

It has also offered to increase reimbursement by 8.48 per cent.


Salaba said optometrists want an increase of 70 per cent to close the gap.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province is “extremely disappointed” in the association’s decision to withdraw services.

“To do so as Ontario faces the fourth wave of the pandemic is unconscionable,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

Elliott said the optometrists declined to continue mediation on the weekend, and said the government is awaiting a “change of heart” from them.

She said the government will continue funding the affected services, and “any decision to withdraw services is the decision of individual optometrists.”

“Our government’s offer is an extremely fair and reasonable one, and I urge the OAO to stop withholding care from patients and commit to reaching an agreement today,” she said.

The province said approximately 2.9 million Ontario residents received provincially insured optometry services in the 2019-20 fiscal year.
 

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
34,052
2,527
113
Vancouver Island
I am on side with the Optometrists. Why the Ontario governments (past and present) will not at the very least increase with cost of living is beyond me. So many people require the services, they need to get this done and be fair with the Optometrists.
Didn't you get the memo? Only government employees are to make a decent living. Independent business people are supposed to be poor. And pay the majority of taxes.
 

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
34,052
2,527
113
Vancouver Island
I am sure you are aware that Optometrists, like doctors of any ilk, are health care professionals. They get paid by and get taxed by the government for their services.
Not all health care professionals get paid by the government. Only the chosen. And not all necessary services provided by the chosen are covered. Government also controls the fee structure doctors are paid for their services. I just got back from the optometrist. Cost me $95 that I now have to get back from the government.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Satelitte Radio Addict
May 28, 2007
13,063
797
113
Toronto, ON
Not all health care professionals get paid by the government. Only the chosen. And not all necessary services provided by the chosen are covered. Government also controls the fee structure doctors are paid for their services. I just got back from the optometrist. Cost me $95 that I now have to get back from the government.
In Ontario, assuming you are over 19, none of that is refundable by the government. I think OHIP will pay $50 for a person under 19 to have a checkup once a year (or is it 2?). My guess is the difference between the $50 and the $95 is what they are grumbling about.