Most Blindness Is Preventable according to the World Health Organization, “three-quarters of all blindness can be prevented or treated”.
EPSO believes Ontarians deserve access to the right care from the right professional at the right time.
Failure to treat vision impairment costs the system more.
Low vision patients have:
- 50% increase incidence of motor vehicle accidents
- 2x incidence of social dependence
- 2x the incidence of falls
- 3x risk of depression
- 4x risk of hip fractures
- 2-5x incidence of problems with daily living
- admission to nursing home 3 years earlier
In 2012 the provincial government reduced cataract funding in every Local Integrated Health Network (LHIN) across the province by 10 to 36% which resulted in closures and interruptions to many cataract programs. As a result, wait times have increased.
In Ontario, the minimum wait time for cataract surgery can be greater than one year depending on residency.
Fees paid to Ontario's ophthalmologists were significantly cut in 2012 and have been reduced again over the last 5 years. Ontario's ophthalmologists are the lowest paid across the country (CIHI data). EPSO's members aren't asking for a raise---they just want more provincial funding for vision care services to look after their patients in a proper and humane manner. The monies requested of the government are for increased funds to ophthalmic services in order to reduce wait times for Ontario's eye patients.