OPTOMETRISTS RESUME TALKS WITH PROVINCE AND PAUSES JOB ACTION

Nov 22, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Optometrists in Ontario say they’ll resume eye exams for seniors and children starting tomorrow. The optometrists withdrew provincially insured eye services in September in a funding dispute with the province.

And in a statement, the Association of Optometrists says it’s agreed to enter formal negotiations with the Ministry of Health as a sign of good faith.

The optometrists say the province has been underfunding OHIP-covered services leaving them paying 45 percent out of pocket.

Health Minister Christine Elliott has said the government has committed to paying $39 million in retroactive costs and prepared to increase reimbursement by 8.48 per cent going forward, but optometrists say that neither proposal is sufficient to cover their costs.

CARP says it’s ‘great news’ for its members and their efforts after thousands wrote their MPP’s urging the province and the optometrists to get back to the negotiations and end the work stoppage.

In a statement, the Zoomer advocacy group says there was a rising sense among members that they’d get stuck in the middle of the dispute after their appointments were cancelled and were unable to book new ones after an almost three month disruption.

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