Canadian ophthalmologists calling for a national eye care strategy

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society is looking for the government to step up and help Canadians. (Courtesy: Canva)


Health-care is a major talking point nationwide, and now the focus of that conversation is turning to eye care.

According to the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) across Canada, approximately 1.2 million Canadians identify as having eyesight loss, while another approximately 8 million live with one of four major eye diseases. 

Now, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society is looking for the government to step up and help Canadians. The society is calling on the government to pass a bill to implement a national eye care strategy.

“Vision care is health care, and with more than 1.2 million Canadians living with vision loss today, and over 8 million living with one of the four major eye diseases, it’s time to take action to make vision a priority in Canada. The Canadian Ophthalmological Society urges for the Bill to progress quickly through proactive next steps so that work may commence to improve the overall health and quality of life of Canadians,” reads an email from Phil Hooper, president of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society.

Bill C-284 was first introduced in June 2022 by the Honourable Judy A. Sgro, the member of Parliament for Humber River-Black Creek. If passed, the bill would see the development of a national strategy to support the prevention and treatment of eye disease, ensuring better health outcomes for Canadians. 

Currently, the bill has reached its second reading with all-party support – “a positive step forward in addressing the urgent need for a National Eye Care Strategy in Canada,” the Canadian Ophthalmological Society says. 

The main diseases of concern include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Canadians Share Their Thoughts

Online, Canadians are speaking out about the proposed changes. 

“Well, if it’s anything like the new dental program – they’re gonna be disappointed,” one Instagram user said. 

“Liberals in Ontario sold off eye care, and I doubt that Conservatives will want to take back on the responsibility. They’re too busy giving away our tax money to the rich; they don’t care if working and middle class people can afford eye care,” added another. 



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