EPSO’s 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.
Currently there are three key issues that EPSO has identified and continues to address with our provincial government and health care leaders;
1) Wait Times – they are too long and the data that is communicated to the public 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.
Did you know? Across Canada, there has been a decline in the proportion of patients receiving cataract surgery within the benchmark of 112 days – from 83% to 70% – a drop of more than 12%. Ontario has the highest estimated number of patients waiting for eye surgery (>62,000 people) according to the Fraser Institute’s 2017 wait time study.
2) Un and Under-Employed Ophthalmologists – Ontario’s aging population is increasing and wait lists are growing and yet… new ophthalmology graduates are challenged to secure time in public funded operating rooms.
In 2018 EPSO developed a report “Ensuring Access and Excellence in Cataract Surgery” to bring this issue to the forefront with health care leaders. In response the MOH sent a Letter of Commitment in which the Province will commit to an additional investment in base funding for cataract surgeries as well as a further one-time investment to help reduce Ontario’s wait lists. The MOH has committed to work with partners to develop a plan that will link incremental volumes to the recruitment of new ophthalmology graduate surgeons in select hospitals across the province.
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 ensure we have the resources to take care of Ontario’s population properly.
Ontario’s ophthalmologists are the lowest paid eye doctors in the country and the provincial government continues to introduce cuts to billing codes without taking in to account the many factors that impact the cost of providing vision services to Ontario’s communities; such as the high cost of overhead for technology and equipment.