In Canada, two major changes are occurring with respect to the profession of optometry: the removal of vision examination coverage from the provincial health plans and the addition of therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPAs) to the scope of practice. A survey was mailed to all practicing optometrists in British Columbia to determine their opinions on these issues. The results show that B.C. optometrists expect some change in coverage within four years, but only about half of the doctors favour deinsurance. They also expect a temporary decrease in patient numbers and in personal income if deinsurance does occur. With respect to therapeutic medications, 99% of B.C. optometrists favour TPA legislation for optometry and believe that a Jaw will pass within four years. Ninety-seven percent plan to obtain licensure to prescribe TP As and estimate they need to prescribe medications to about 10% of their patients.
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