Tension over professional recognition for optometrists in France
Wednesday, October 1 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
The French newspaper Les Echos recently disclosed details about a draft bill intended to allow opticians-optometrists to prescribe glasses.
In France, ophthalmologists are responsible for conducting eye tests and prescribing glasses and contact lenses. Justified by the reduction in the number of ophthalmologists by 2020, at a time when eye disorders will increase by at least 15%, the draft bill plans to “allocate certain acts, such as prescribing corrective glasses or contact lenses, to specially trained opticians.”
The text states that 2,000 opticians-optometrists are already trained and waiting to fully exercise their powers. The French Ministry of Economy and Finance estimates that health insurance savings will total $142 million (100 million euros) and that insureds or supplementary health insurance organizations (Ocam) will see savings of $370 million (260 million euros).
The National Union of French Ophthalmologists (Snof), which called on its members to go on strike September 30, issued a biting response through its president, Dr. Jean-Bernard Rottier. “The measures to demedicalize the sale of glasses are a threat to the eye health of the French people. A visit to an ophthalmologist is the only way to detect asymptomatic diseases, which sometimes have irreversible consequences: glaucoma, brain tumour… As doctors, we’re responsible for making sure that patients receive the best care possible to preserve their eye health. And when it’s threatened, we’ll fight for them!”
Watch for more information as it comes available…