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An eye on expansion

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Iris vision centre faced early opposition to Ontario foray but stared down its challenger ...Read the full article

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  1. Perry Brodkin from Toronto, Canada writes: The College of Optometrists of Ontario is not enforcing the law. And, as of today's date, that law has not changed in Ontario. In other words, there has been no easing of the restrictive Ontario regulations that are more than 40 years old as is incorrectly stated in the article. In much the same way, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is not enforcing the law against physicians, specifically otolaryngologists (ENTs), who have a conflict of interest, which is professional misconduct, because they and hearing aid dispensaries are together under one roof. Iris the Visual Group ("Iris") is not re-inventing the wheel in Ontario. The scheme instituted by Iris in Ontario has been in existence for several years in the hearing care sector in Ontario having been instituted by hearing aid dispensaries. As long as Colleges in Ontario fail to enforce the law, such schemes will continue to proliferate in all areas of the health care sector.
  2. Cory from Kitchener from Canada writes: I have yet to purchase a pair of glasses that were not located "under the same roof" as my eye doctor. Not sure what the issue is as I think they have been working together for years.
  3. Perry Brodkin from Toronto, Canada writes: Cory from Kitchener from Canada, my experience is different than your experience. I have yet to purchase eyeglasses from an optician who was located "under the same roof" as an optometrist. And I have been purchasing eyeglasses from different opticians for many years. The issue is that, in a democracy, we all live under the rule of law except, it would appear, for some optometrists. That is because the College of Optometrists of Ontario ("College") is not enforcing the law. The College should enforce the law until such time as the law is changed by the Cabinet.
  4. Steve Ladurantaye from Toronto, writes: Hi Perry: You're right, the rules are still on the books. But neither side felt a legal battle was useful, because the rules are under review. There's more info here: http://www.iris.ca/iris07/newsattach/SettlementPressReleaseMay26.pdf
  5. curtiss lizarelli from calgary, Canada writes: you would have to be nuts to visit one of these places and pay the outrageous amounts they want for glasses...check out this site http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/ I've ordered a dozen pair for myself and family and they are all top notch. The average price is less than $50 for frame, lense and carrying case and delivered to my home in less than 2 weeks.
  6. Cindy Bruce from Toronto, Canada writes: As far as the public is concerned, it seems to me that many are unclear as to what each profession (opticians and optometrists) provides and how the colleges regulate the professions (other than misconduct). If an optometrist can have a dispensary and provide contact lenses and spectacles, then why not have opticians and optometrists work side by side under one roof? Cory's comment speaks to this confusion. I feel it's time the College of Optometrists modify regulations, without sacrificing quality of care. Perhaps a change will increase the quality of care by allowing optometric dispensaries to employ an optician, not just have an employee under supervision.
  7. Perry Brodkin from Toronto, Canada writes: Steve Ladurantaye from Toronto, the fact that the regulations made under the Optometry Act, 1991 may be under review by the College of Optometrists of Ontario ("College") does not mean that the Cabinet will approve any regulation changes proposed by the College to the Cabinet. The College would have to appear before a Committee of Cabinet to explain the proposed changes and there is no certainty that the Cabinet would approve the proposed changes. Especially in view of the 1988 Judgment of the Divisional Court in Cox v. The College. That Judgment sets out the rationale for the current regulations. And the rationale is as appropriate now as it was in 1988. The College is not enforcing the law. Has the College informed all optometrists that they can contravene the law and the law will not be enforced against them?
  8. Cindy Bruce from Toronto, Canada writes: If the College is not enforcing the law is it because they do not have the resources to enforce it?
    Would it not be surprising for a proposal to be rejected by the cabinet if proposed by the College?
  9. Perry Brodkin from Toronto, Canada writes: Cindy Bruce from Toronto, Canada, the College of Optometrists of Ontario may not have had the resources to retain a law firm to defend the Charter of Rights challenge threatened by Iris the Visual Group. It would not be surprising for a proposal to be rejected by the Cabinet if proposed by the College especially in view of the 1988 Judgment of the Divisional Court in Cox v. The College.
  10. Night On Earth from Canada writes: Am I not understanding something? Are optometrists not located in every major shopping mall, most often directly next to a Pearle Vision or a Lenscrafters?
  11. Perry Brodkin from Toronto, Canada writes: Night On Earth from Canada, That is how some but not all optometrists avoid/evade the Regulations made under the Optometry Act, 1991 and the 1988 Judgment of the Divisional Court in Cox v. The College of Optometrists of Ontario. Cox and Imperial Optical were "under one roof" in the same way that Angle and Iris the Visual Group are "under one roof". The optometrists to whom you are referring are not "under one roof" with the opticians to whom you are referring. Take a look at the Judgment and you will understand the rationale for optometrists and opticians not being under one roof.
  12. C K from Canada writes: curtiss lizarelli: you would have to be nuts to visit one of these places and pay the outrageous amounts they want for glasses...check out this site http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/ I've ordered a dozen pair for myself and family and they are all top notch. The average price is less than $50 for frame, lense and carrying case and delivered to my home in less than 2 weeks.

    I would look for quality and service when purchasing any sort of medical device and look a the cost second. Do you cheap out when you hire a mechanic?
  13. peter fletcher from Vancouver, Canada writes: CK

    I am pretty sure that
    curtiss lizarelli
    and thousands of others do the same. There seams to be a total disconect with the prices / quality ratio
  14. Eric C from Canada writes: Curtiss lizarelli, as with anything you buy, you get what you pay for. You can buy junk if you want but seeing an optometrist is about more than buying glasses.

    Optometrists do eye exams and diagnose the health of the eye. They also determine your prescription and can sell you prescription eyeglasses without the need for an optician. Opticians are not capable, licensed or trained to do an eye exam but unfortunately sometimes hold themselves out as such to the public. All opticians can do really is sell you eyeglasses if you have a prescription from an optometrist.

    Optometrist have a 4 year University degree in Optometry (plus an undergrad degree) whereas opticians take a 1 or 2 year College course. Not the same thing. That's why big box low quality places like Lenscrafter or Hakim have a separate space for an optometrist to do their eye exams for them.
  15. COOR ODs from Waterloo, Canada writes: The current “conflict of interest” regulations in Ontario for Optometry are in essence a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is proven in a precedent setting 1998 British Columbia Supreme Court Case, Costco v. The BC Board of Examiners in Optometry. The ruling in BC clearly shows that restricting optometrists from working with opticians under the same roof clearly contradicts Freedom of Association, which is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These restrictions on association in optometry only exist in Ontario and are either not even on the books or enforced in other provinces. The Competition Bureau of Canada published a study on self-regulated professions in December 2007 that states “Colleges of optometry should remove restrictions that prohibit or discourage optometrists from working in multidisciplinary arrangements with opticians”. On June 19, 2008 the Bureau sent a letter to the MOHLTC in Ontario communicating that “by not allowing these relationships, the College of Optometrists of Ontario is preventing the potential development of more efficient business models and future innovation”. Most importantly, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has a mandate to encourage open collaboration amongst all health care professions as this has been shown to improve quality of care. Optometrists and opticians working together under one roof is another example that follows this mandate of enhancing health care in Ontario.
  16. b lt from Canada writes: Perry: So which one are you? An Optometrist or an Optician?
  17. Red Cheese from United States writes: How come you don't submit a complaint to the College of Optemetrists Mr. Brodkin? Is it because no one is paying you to do it?

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