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Do we need optometry in Japan?

1 May 1994


Japan's eyecare delivery system does not include optometry. Ophthalmologists are the only individuals who can legally provide eyecare. Though there are many ophthalmologists practicing in Japan, they must rely upon anci llary help from such medical assistants as orthoptists, ophthalmic medical assistants, and nurses in order to maintain quality and efficiency in their services as the needs of functional vision care increase. On the other hand, many spectacle wearers see refracting opticians, who are not legal eyecare providers, to have vision examinations and obtain spectacles. Kikuchi College of Optometry and The Japan Optometric Association have been providing education in order to establish optometry in Japan. There has also been another. movement to establish a legalized status of opticians. In such a situation, what the public needs is convenient, high quality eyecare with accurate information about their health. Consequently, functionally oriented optometrists will be needed in Japan to satisfy public needs. It is important for those who may provide optometric care to have proper education and to establish professional ethics. They should also be mindful as to the need for cooperation among practitioners to maximize the effectiveness of the eyecare delivery system.


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