We have now been open 2 weeks! It was slow, there were a few hiccups but was an overall successful re-opening. This would not have been possible without our staff taking your safety as their top priority and without our patients doing an exceptional job following restrictions and showing patience with us as we navigate our clinic.
We are slowly getting through our backlog. We are still operating at about 40%. This means we do not have enough appointment times to get through it quickly. A secondary effect of this is we are unable to take walk ins and sometimes even emergencies. All of our patients know this is a massive shift from how we are used to operating the clinic, helping our community and offering care. We have our full staff back available to take phone calls and check our email throughout the day to help you navigate this new healthcare landscape. The doctors are also doing a bit more phone-triaging to help patients with their symptoms.
Some services we are still not able to offer at the time are contact lens fittings and non-urgent visual fields. Both of these involve prolonged patient contact in smaller rooms. We are working on ways to safely offer both of these services.
Effective this week we have opened more times in our dispensing area for patients to choose new frames, replace their lenses or get their glasses repaired. Our staff has really stepped up in being able to safely offer these services. All of our frames that are tried on or touched are hand washed and disinfected.
It is slow, but we have enjoyed the additional one-on-one time with our patients!
Thank you for your continued patience!
One more important note:
Starting this week, Ontario optometrists will be entering job action against the Ontario government. Please know, that there have been good faith negotiations with the government for several months (and even years) prior to needing to take this action. COVID-19 has made the cracks in our healthcare system full on breaks. The sustainability of our clinic is dependent on the government of Ontario acknowledging Optometry as an essential service and allowing us to be fairly compensated. Our contract with OHIP and the Ontario Government has not been renewed or even re-assessed in over a decade. Standards of care have increased exponentially as have overhead costs.
There will be more information available tomorrow, including ways you can help support your optometrist in their battle for the sustainability of eyecare in Ontario.