Many adults with serious health issues – such as a brain tumor, retinal detachment, high blood pressure and glaucoma – look perfectly healthy and would qualify for an optician administered sight test. As an optometrist I have often been the first to detect general health disorders and diseases that have related eye health symptoms. Sometimes the patient notices a change to their vision, and sometimes they don’t. If they are sight tested health issues will be missed. If a patient continues to purchase contact lenses or glasses with no valid prescription year after year, health issues will be missed.
I can’t believe the government would implicitly encourage people not to get a full eye exam. If they’re not concerned for the health of British Columbians, they at least should be concerned over the high costs of treating serious diseases that have been left to progress without early treatment. SAMPLE LETTER 2 – Erosion of health standards
The Health Services Ministry says it wants to modernize the regulations on eyewear. But the prestigious World Council of Optometry (WCO) – representing 150,000 optometrists in more than 60 countries – sees a dangerous erosion of health care standards. ”The world is watching a paradox unfold in Canada. While the Third World is attempting to raise delivery standards through consistently improving the level of education of all eye care personnel, the B.C. government appears to be consciously dropping standards of eye care to the very lowest in all of North America,” the WCO states.
Here in the United States, we’re looking to Canada as an example of a system that protects the vulnerable and provides appropriate health care for all. Removing regulations that protect public health is a big step backwards.
SAMPLE LETTER 2
It is with some admiration that I have watched and heard of how hard the two of you have worked to organize and improve our health care system. As a BC Liberal member and donor, my family and I have been very supportive of our current government administration. It is in this context that I found your recent proposal to change the Opticians and Optometrists' Regulations to remove limitations on the restricted activities of our professions absolutely mind boggling. If this type of legislative facilitation for an internet provider of contact lens and eye glasses has been arranged in any other jurisdiction in North America, or for that matter the world, I would respectfully ask that evidence of this be shared. Even if another jurisdiction has made such a decision, it is still the wrong thing to do.
The other matter, which is that of opticians being officially legislated to "sight test", is also a first in North America. As you are most likely aware, a recent Ontario court decision found a sight testing optician to be in contempt of court for continuing to sight test and the owner has been fined millions of dollars. Last year in my optometry clinic, we had a forty-six year old healthy female patient with an asymptomatic retinal melanoma. If she had been sight tested, she would be on her deathbed now. Two and a half years ago I diagnosed a pituitary tumor in a healthy thirty-four year old male. If he had been sight tested, he would have been dead within six months. He had the tumor removed two weeks after my diagnosis.
Thankfully, our BC Liberal party has shown it has the flexibility to rectify the inevitable occasional error in judgment that will occur when implementing thousands of varied provincial Regulations and Policies. I can assure you that these proposed changes will not enhance the eye health nor eye care of our public. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss this matter. I look forward to your continued consideration of these important decisions. SAMPLE LETTER 3
I ask for a moment of your time to discuss the recently announced...