Eye Doctors, Surgeons Denounce Cuts That Might Lessen Availability Of Diagnostic Exams For AMD

by Admin on June 2, 2012

(MacularDegenerations.com) All is not well for Ontario residents living with serious eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reported 680 News on May 22.

According to an article from the radio broadcaster’s website, the Government of Ontario is being asked to revisit its decision to implement cuts to services intended to help people with vision-impairment issues.

The article explained that a consortium of Ontario-based ophthalmologists — medical professionals who specialize in eye surgery — and optometrists — medical professionals who provide eye care and look for possible vision problems — want the province’s minister of health to agree to talks focused on backing away from the aforementioned cuts.

Ophthalmologists, according to the article, believe that the cuts will reduce availability of diagnostic exams for things such as AMD, glaucoma and diabetes as well as lead to lengthier waiting lists for surgical procedures pertaining to cataracts.

The article added that eye surgeons have, over the past 36 months, lowered their asking prices for conducting cataract surgery two times. These moves, the article noted, saved taxpayers around 16% in terms of procedure reimbursements.

According to the article, discussions involving the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association derailed late last month on the heels of a development that saw the provincial government turn down certain recommendations. These recommendations as tabled by the Ontario Medical Association included a two-tier salary freeze, direct savings worth  a quarter of a billion dollars to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan budget over 24 months and a promise to come up with savings that would not adversely impact patient care.

Separately, many articles have noted that AMD is a serious eye condition that generally impacts those who are advanced in years rather than people in other demographics. However, while those who come down the with condition are usually seniors, the fact of the matter is that AMD is not a normal part of growing older. In fact, research shows that those who are proactive about their eye care routine — regular tests, proper diet and healthy lifestyle — can either ward off AMD altogether or dramatically slow down the profession of the eye condition that can lead to blindness.

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