Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 12, 2013


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Changes will Provide Better Access to Eye Care for Manitoba Families: Oswald
New legislation coming into effect July 15 will allow optometrists to prescribe and administer drugs to people with certain eye conditions, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“Until now, optometrists treating patients requiring medication had to refer them to ophthalmologists or other physicians,” said Oswald.  “The amendments will improve access to eye care and reduce wait times for treatment for patients.”
Effective July 15, qualified optometrists will be able to prescribe and administer certain drugs to treat eye infections, glaucoma, uveitis, dry eye and ocular allergies.  As well, qualified optometrists will now be able to work collaboratively with ophthalmologists in treatment of more serious eye disease.
The Optometry Amendment Act will also expand the scope of practice of optometrists so they may remove superficial foreign bodies from the eye, and order and receive screening and diagnostic tests.  The change has the support of the Manitoba Association of Optometrists.
“This is great news for our patients and everyone in Manitoba,” noted Dr. Neil Campbell, president of the Manitoba Association of Optometrists.  “Most of our members have been educated and trained to prescribe medications for years.  We are pleased that the Manitoba government has made changes that will broaden access to medically necessary services across the province.”
Optometrists are trained professionals who provide approximately 80 per cent of all first contact, primary vision and eye health examinations in Manitoba.  They are trained and licensed to examine and diagnose eye disorders and diseases, and provide and prescribe treatment, management and correction.
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