Aug 31, 2021
By Jane Brown
Wednesday is the deadline Ontario’s optometrists have set to turn away OHIP-funded patients, if a new deal with the governing Ford PCs is not reached by midnight.
With less than a day to go, there is no such agreement.
OHIP pays for eye exams for people 18 and under, and 65 and older, currently about 45-dollars per exam.
Optometrists say that is about 5 dollars more than the fee back in 1989 and only covers about about 55-percent of the true cost of about 80-dollars per exam.
Health Minister Christine Elliott posted online back on August 23rd, the province had offered to increase the amount by 8.4 percent. She has also offered a one time $39-million retroactive payment to cover the past decade.
But it was this release of information from the bargaining table that prompted the Ontario Association of Optometrists to take the government to court, accusing the Health Minister of violating confidentiality by tweeting an open letter with details of the province’s latest offer.
For her part, Elliott says she’s hopeful there will be a positive outcome. There is no official word yet from the OAO whether optometrists will follow through and withdraw their services to patients covered by OHIP starting Wednesday.