October 14, 2021
MPP French demands current government restore eye care for people of Oshawa
OSHAWA - The current government’s refusal to take action to restore eye care service in the province is risking serious sight and eye problems for the people of Oshawa, said NDP MPP Jennifer French in the following open letter to the minister of health:
October 14, 2021
Hon. Christine Elliott
Ministry of Health
College Park, 5th floor, 777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M7A 2I3
I am writing to you in support of many constituents affected by the withdrawal of optometry services for OHIP-insured patients. As you know, the Ontario Association of Optometrists began job action on September 1, 2021, which has led to this withdrawal of services. This is not, however, the first letter I have had to write imploring your government to prioritize eye health in the province.
Adequate access to resources for the prevention and treatment of vision loss alleviates the $15.6 billion spent annually on this in Canada, but your government’s inaction will cost children and seniors in dollars and personal expense.
Access to eye care and eye health are issues that matter to real people across the province. I have been proud to present hundreds of petitions from neighbours in my community. My office has been receiving many calls and emails from Oshawa seniors, folks and families who are struggling to access the eye-care they deserve.
People with Diabetes want to make sure they get the care that they need. Children who are back in classrooms are straining without new prescriptions – and without the ability to get an appointment. Government inaction is not improving patient outcomes and I am concerned this could lead to serious sight and eye problems.
Minister, I urge you to return to the negotiating table and restore OHIP-insured eyecare services to all youth and seniors. Ontarians expect you to resolve the conflict with our province’s optometrists.
I look forward to your response.
Doug DeRabbie, Ontario Association of Optometrists
France Gélinas, MPP Nickel Belt & Official Opposition Critic for Health Care