TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - Ontarians will enjoy better access to eye
health care now that optometrists can prescribe medications for
sight-threatening conditions like eye infections and glaucoma. Today,
the Government of Ontario approved a regulation that will allow
optometrists to prescribe medication for the treatment of certain
conditions. The College of Optometrists of Ontario congratulates the
government of Ontario on this example of progressive health policy.
"Optometrists in Ontario have long awaited this change which will allow
them to offer patients one-stop health care for many eye conditions,"
says Dr. Christopher Nicol, Interim Registrar at the College. "This
regulation will reduce healthcare system costs and provide easier,
quicker service for hundreds of patients across Ontario. "
In the past if an optometrist diagnosed a patient with an eye condition
that required treatment with a medication, the patient would be
referred to an ophthalmologist for a prescription and ongoing
treatment. This often resulted in lengthy wait times and back-ups in
the system. Now optometrists can not only diagnose the eye disease,
they can treat it.
"This regulation is particularly important in the less-populated and
northern regions of the province where a trip to the ophthalmologist
could be costly and time-consuming for the patient," said Nicol. "This
regulation is an achievement in access to eye care services for
Ontarians and optometrists are looking forward to the opportunity to
provide a broader range of services and become more active partners in
The list of drugs optometrists can prescribe is controlled by Ontario's
Designated Drugs Regulation. This regulation has been in the works
since 2007 when implementation of the Health System Improvements Act
resulted in changes to the Optometry Act.
Ontario's more than 1,800 optometrists are regulated by the College of
Optometrists of Ontario. Optometrists are eye care professionals that
must meet strict educational requirements to achieve and maintain
registration in Ontario.
SOURCE College of Optometrists of Ontario
For further information:
College of Optometrists of Ontario