Our vision is that all Ontario residents have access to, and receive, high quality eye care to preserve and restore their vision.
We are committed to protecting, maintaining and improving ophthalmic care in Ontario.
In addition to promoting patient safety, the Eye Physicians and Surgeons (EPSO) meets with health organizations and agencies, technology leaders, hospitals and our elected government, to maintain the highest standards of care. We advocate for patients but also our member ophthalmologists - so they can contribute to providing the very best health care for Ontario patients.
We had three key issues that we wanted to address in our meetings;
1) The wait time data that is communicated to the public on both the MOHLTC and HQO is inaccurate and inconsistent and puts ophthalmologists in a difficult situation having to disappoint patients when providing the real wait time data for eye surgery. Shortly after our visit, the data on the MOHLTC site was removed.
2) The recommendations made in the Vision Care Strategy concerning new ophthalmology graduates are not being implemented. New ophthalmology graduates are facing challenges getting public hospital operating time. As a result, they have valid concerns that their surgical skills are not being used at full capacity and over time they will no longer feel comfortable operating on patients. Young surgeons in general surgery and orthopedic surgery have the opportunity to take call at a hospital and they are able to utilize their surgical skills. Sadly, young ophthalmologists do not have the same opportunity when they are on call because most eye surgeries are elective cases. A mind is a terrible thing to waste but it is a public tragedy to waste a great set of young surgical hands at the start of a career.
EPSO asked the provincial government to provide additional funding to hospitals on the condition that the funds were used to employ a new graduate which will also help tie them to a community. EPSO recommends that new graduates are granted access to facilities such that a minimum of 250 cataract surgeries, or 40 glaucoma/cornea, or 200 vitreoretinal surgeries per year, are performed by each surgeon respectively so that adequate skills are maintained and that new graduates can develop sustainable practices.
3) Ophthalmologists are busy! Since 2005 there has been a 36% increase in the number of consultations but only a 5% increase in our workforce. The number of consults per MD has increased from 4462 to 5811. The "grey tsunami" only appears to be larger in the future and we need to make sure we have the resources to take care of Ontario's population properly.