Eye doctors meet to discuss collaborative eye care with Alberta Minister of Health, Fred Horne

EDMONTON, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Representatives from the Eye Physicians and Surgeons Association of Alberta (EPSAA) and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) met with Minister Horne and his officials on June 9, 2014 to discuss the importance of inter-professional collaboration for eye health care for Albertans and all Canadians. Recently, medical organizations including COS, EPSAA, the Alberta Medical Association, the College of Physicians of Alberta and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada expressed concern regarding the level of consultation with the medical profession before an expansion of the scope of practice for Alberta optometrists was announced by the Minister on April 29, 2014.

"While there were no apologies for the process used, we were very encouraged by Minister Horne's engagement in our discussion about quality collaborative eye care. He pledged to write to the regulatory bodies for optometry and medicine to propose the coordination of services through a Strategic Clinical Network," said Dr. Paul Rafuse, Immediate Past-President, Canadian Ophthalmological Society.

A Strategic Clinical Network on eye care would be a forum aimed at providing high-quality patient care, patient safety and the appropriate utilization of resources in pursuit of optimal eye health. Successful inter-professional collaborative models have been implemented in Ontario and Nova Scotia. In Ontario, the Eye Health Council of Ontario (EHCO) includes representation from Ophthalmology, Optometry, Family Practice, as well as the respective regulatory bodies, professional associations, academic communities all with government oversight.

Dr. Kenneth Romanchuk, President, Eye Physicians and Surgeons Association of Alberta, said, "We look forward to a continued dialogue with Minister Horne and his officials about the provision of safe and optimal eye care for all Albertans."

About the Canadian Ophthalmological Society:

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society is the principal, national voice for ophthalmology in Canada and the recognized authority on eye and vision care. It is the leading association of eye physicians and surgeons in Canada with approximately 1,100 members. For more information, please visit www.cos-sco.ca

SOURCE: Canadian Ophthalmological Society

For further information:

Media Contact:
Cynthia Lank
Medical Editor/Project Manager
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
902.422.1900 (business)
902.473.9135 (cell)

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