A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates
Posted September 1st, 2021 on Niagara At Large
NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario — Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates blasted the Ford Government for failing to reach an agreement with optometrists which has meant that all OHIP-covered services for those above the age of 65 or below the age of 18 have halted.
Niagara, Ontario – “Here in Niagara 1 in every 4 residents is a senior, this is having a huge impact on our community’ said Gates, “I’ve got seniors calling my office saying they’re worried they can’t drive now because they can’t access the services they need to see properly.”
“Before I was elected I bargained a lot of agreements and I can say from experience, you only get an agreement if both sides agree to find a way forward – in this case, the Ford Government hasn’t come to the table with a real offer and seniors and children across Ontario but especially here in Niagara are suffering because of it.”
The Ontario Associations of Optometrists withdrew services on September 1st after failing to reach a funding agreement with the Ford Government. The Association is specifically concerned that the Ontario Government has not adjusted the remuneration schedule for OHIP covered optometry services since the late 80’s, leaving local optometrists offices on the hook to cover the difference.
“In Ontario, it is illegal for any health professional to accept direct payment for OHIP covered services.
“Seniors in this community have paid into these programs their entire lives and now because the Ford Government dragged their feet, they can’t get the services they paid for. Optometrists have been warning the government about this for over a year, frankly there’s absolutely no reason a deal shouldn’t have been reached.
” Ford and Minister Elliott need to quit dragging their feet and get back to the bargaining table with a real offer before any more unnecessary frustration and suffering is caused to our seniors,” said Gates.”
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