City council is calling on the province to enter into good faith negotiations with the Ontario Association of Optometry.
The motion put forward by Tanya Vrebosch, Deputy Mayor, was supported at Tuesday night’s meeting.
She says the goal is to bring services and funding levels in optometry in Ontario up to more equitable levels with the rest of Canada.
“In 1989 the government paid $39.15 for an OHIP-insured eye test, 32 years later the remuneration is only $5.50 more,” Vrebosch says. “Ontario is the lowest compensated in Canada with Manitoba receiving $77.18, Quebec $106, Alberta $137 and Ontario currently sits at $47.”
Vrebosch says they’re adding their voice to a chorus of others, including Thunder Bay and Kingston, in calling for action.
“Optometrists are looking for just the basic level of delivery and since we’ve tabled this motion the government has put out, I don’t know if it’s a peace offering, but some money towards it. But, there’s still no substantial movement towards a resolution,” she says.
The Ontario Association of Optometry says the 8.49 % increase being offered by the province would still leave the average Ontario optometrist paying $27 out-of-pocket to examine an OHIP-insured patient.