Ford Conservatives plan to reduce eye exam eligibility for seniors

 By Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2023


It was almost is as if the government was doing some pay-back to the optometrist sector.

Specialized equipment is expensive – optometrist were finding they were losing money on each examination – the result of not have a change in the rate paid by the government for 17 years.

Recall that a while back they stopped making appointments for people who wanted their eyes examined because they claimed the province was not paying them enough to cover all their costs.

After months of bickering the optometrists and the provincial government came to terms and appointments were being made.  Seniors were entitled to one examination every 12 months.

In the budget tables on Thursday the government got rid of an examination every 12 months to an examination every 18 months.

Looks like pay-back to me.

Marit Stiles. Leader of the Opposition at Queen’s Park said: “Seniors are having a hard enough time right now without having to go longer between eye exams, which are critical to seniors’ health.

“The Ford government reducing OHIP-covered eye check-ups for people 65 and older to every 18 months instead of annually will hurt seniors—preventative eye care is important to catching issues early and could impact seniors’ ability to live independently.

“Only seniors who can afford to pay out-of-pocket will be able to get more frequent eye exams. This announcement is yet another example of Doug Ford funnelling money out of our public health care system into private, for-profit care.”

Will this hurt the senior’s vote?  In three years many people will have forgotten what was done – and by that time the government will have a massive surplus and be able to spend like crazy.



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3 comments to Ford Conservatives plan to reduce eye exam eligibility for seniors

  • Philip Waggett

    My optometrist identified the start of cataracts in my two eyes (two years ago); when she discussed the progression of these cataracts with me, she told me it would likely be at least up to six or eight years before cataract surgery would be contemplated. Do I think get an eye exam every 18 months instead of 12 months will make a significant difference to me? Doubtful, very, very doubtful.

    And as I understand this proposed legislation, those with serious conditions can be seen more frequently.

    This just seems like the proverbial “tempest in a teapot”–good for the Ford haters.

  • Dorothy Kew

    This senior won’t forget!

  • Penny Hersh

    “Seniors with eligible medical conditions affecting their eyes such as macular degeneration glaucoma or diabetes will get a yearly checkup. Seniors will be limited to just 2 minor followup assessments with an optometrist every year. Currently the are is no limit on such minor assessments”

    “OHIP coverage of eye exams for people of all all ages with cataracts will continue””Those with uveitis, or inflammation under the eye – will get expanded services under the changes. Currently only those with recurring uveitis are covered, but under the new framework everyone with the condition can get any eye test.”

    Do I think that not allowing seniors to have yearly examinations paid for by the government is a good thing – NO. I do believe that preventative eye care is important to being able to catch issues early.

    My question is what will the cost be for an eye examination should a senior want a yearly eye examination.?

    I plan on asking this question to my optometrist.