College shows support for a unified plan for vision care, collaboration amongst Canada’s Vision Professionals, and more at a Vision Health Month Summit in Ottawa

On May 26, the College’s Director of Research and Policy, Dr. Chad Andrews, attended a Vision Health Month Summit in Ottawa to represent the College on a panel that addressed the issue of a national vision care strategy.

The panel was oriented around new research showing that approximately 1.2 million Canadians currently live with vision loss or blindness, and that the cost of vision loss and blindness in 2019 totaled $33 billion.

The full panel presentation and Q & A can be found here:

At 28 minutes into the video, Dr. Andrews begins his presentation and speaks to the importance of a vision health desk—a new division within Public Health that could coordinate vision care services across the country—as well as the potential benefits of collaboration and knowledge sharing among Canada’s vision care professionals: optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians.

At 1:04:30, he discusses the need for policy innovation, the critical importance of prevention and detection, and the demands that will be placed on Canada’s vision care system during future pandemics.

The other panelists were Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer with the Canadian Council of the Blind (presentation at 2:49); Carol Hughes, Member of Parliament and Assistant Deputy Speaker (13:34); and Doug Earle, the President and CEO of Fighting Blindness Canada (41:20).

The College would like to thank the Canadian Council of the Blind for organizing and hosting this important exchange of ideas.