Withdrawal of optometrists MEDICARE: emergency more gridlocked?

News 11 February, 2018
  • Photo Simon Clark
    The spokesperson for the PQ in terms of health and access to care, Diane Lamarre

    QMI agency

    Sunday, 11 February 2018 15:28

    Sunday, 11 February 2018 15:30

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    The withdrawal of the optometrists of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) could saturate the er, according to the Parti québécois (PQ), which accuses the liberal government of under-estimating the profession.

    • READ ALSO: optometrists withdraw from the RAMQ

    “Is it possible to find a middle ground so that the availability of optometrists has added value,” said Diane Lamarre, spokesperson for the PQ in terms of health and access to care, during a press briefing Sunday.

    Ninety percent of optometrists of Quebec will withdraw from the RAMQ, as from 10 march next year, announced on Wednesday the Association des optométristes du Québec (AOQ) earlier this week.

    A situation which will leave the population under the age of 18 years, 65 years and over and service providers and income security.

    Diane Lamarre argues that all of it could prove disastrous for emergencies, since optometrists acted as a first-line to reduce congestion.

    “The population is in need of help for his glaucoma. She needs to have someone who intervenes to extract a foreign body in his eye as much as she has need of someone who follows his blood pressure,” she gave as an example.

    “There is money in our system. Except that currently, it is always given to the specialists and doctors,” said Diane Lamarre.

    The operating costs incurred by the optometrists have increased three times more than the fee over the past 30 years, according to the AOQ.

    The minister of Health Gaétan Barrette had to respond Sunday afternoon.