A Step in the Right Direction?
With the recent news of Ontario optometrists given permission to hand out prescription medications, we are left with the serious question regarding whether or not this practice is a good thing for the health care system and more importantly, if it is a step in the right direction for eye care patients.
There's no way to argue how beneficial this change will be to the patients themselves. No longer will they need to jump from one office to another just to treat common eye ailments like glaucoma or infections. This will save many affected patients both time and travel expenses, while putting less stress on ophthalmologists.
Before now, ophthalmologists were an added stepping stone dividing many patients from their medications. This was especially true for residents in rural areas, where the nearest ophthalmologist could be hours away. Add to that the long weight-lists and it becomes clear that something needed to be changed within the system.
In the end we'll have to wait and see how this new practice of allowing optometrists to directly prescribe medications will turn out. From this preliminary view, however, it seems like a win-win situation for all and an important step in the right direction for Ontario's health care system.