Ontario’s Elected Officials Shadow Optometrists on Optometry Day

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Constituency Week usually gives Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) a chance to go back to their roots and get to know the people they were elected to serve. However, on Optometry Day, Nov. 10, MPPs will get to know their constituents in a very different way – by taking a peek inside their eyes.

Ontario’s optometrists are opening their practice doors to their MPP to give them this very unique, first-hand look at the work optometrists do, the tools they use and the impact they have on their local communities. As the primary eye care providers in Ontario, optometrists play an important role in the health-care system’s efforts to improve eye care and minimize vision loss within the population.

The province of Ontario currently faces increasing challenges in eye health and vision care as its population ages and grows. An estimated 2.2 million Ontarians are now living with one or more of the four major eye diseases – age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes and cataracts – which comes at an incredible annual cost of $7.7 billion to the province in Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) fees, through unnecessary referrals and emergency room visits.

This need not be the case; optometrists have the tools, education and expertise to detect, manage and treat eye health issues, in a timely manner, close to a patient’s home and in a cost-effective way. Optometry Day will gives MPPs a direct look at the important value optometrists bring as primary care providers.

Optometry Day is the second phase of the Ontario Association of Optometrists’ (OAO) advocacy work launched in April 2015 by its White Paper Optimizing Optometry’s Role in Ontario, an evidence-based report examining the delivery of primary eye care in Ontario. The report gives recommendations to improve patient eye care and ultimately realize better value for the scarce health-care dollars in Ontario. It focuses on four key areas of eye health: urgent care, children’s vision, disease prevention and management and seniors’ vision.

Ontario’s optometrists are ready to partner with elected officials to provide better, more cost-effective care to patients. What better way to start this partnership than to see through the eyes of an optometrist, at least for a day.

About the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO)

The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is the leading professional organization, representing nearly 1,600 Doctors of Optometry in Ontario for over 100 years. We are dedicated to helping our members provide the highest standard of eye health and vision care for Ontarians while driving the profession of optometry forward. OAO’s members are highly-trained regulated health professionals providing primary eye health and vision care to Ontarians.

For further information, contact:

Elissa Hanna
Communications Coordinator
The Ontario Association of Optometrists
905-826-3522 ext. 246
ehanna@optom.on.ca

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