Toronto Star

In this fight, optometris­ts not the ones with tunnel vision

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Re Vulnerable patients are the victims of Ontario optometris­ts’ tunnel vision, Oct. 9

I must respond to Martin Regg Cohn’s column.

As a former emergency M.D. and now a coroner, I understand firsthand our needs for eye care. I know many ophthalmol­ogists, but for my primary eye care I attend an optometris­t. I, in fact, recently had a retinal hemorrhage; my optometris­t diagnosed it and urgently sent me to see an ophthalmol­ogist. I am very impressed by optometris­ts’ knowledge and skill. Emergency and family physicians don’t have the same skills, nor equipment to provide this care.

Optometris­ts do not just prescribe glasses; they provide essential eye care. They screen for and manage medical conditions of the eye.

They are primary health care providers for eyes, just like family physicians are for everything else. Optometris­ts though, have much higher operating costs, which they should not personally have to cover.

Dr. Robert Horvath, Vaughan

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