I, for one, never felt comfortable with the legislative changes this past year permitting optometrists to perform some vision eye surgeries that heretofore had been performed solely by medical doctors with specialties in the "eye".
I am not alone as opthamolgists and medical doctors (Kentucky Medical Association) opposed the statutory changes this past year.
As a consumer, I am conerned. My eyes should not be at the beck and call of a price war for the cheapest bidder.
Since I have had the "flap and zap" procedure at the hands of Dr. Maurice E. John (who incidentally not only did a fine job but alleviated all of my concerns with calm professionalism), I feel qualified to at least talk about the reluctance in having an optometrist vs. an opthamologist work on my vision. I would like to think there is more art, science, and training in the practice of selecting a viable candidate than just assuming I am a car and plugging me up to the tune up machine.
Well, it looks like the legislation and the law are going to be subject to some closer visual scrutiny now.
Here is a post at the open government blog:
Although ophthalmologists and the Kentucky Medical Association strongly objected, a legislative committee appoved regulations Tuesday that will allow optometrists to perform some eye surgeries using lasers.
In answer, opponents say "they might file legal action against theKentucky Board of Optometric Examiners, which drafted the regulations, for failing to comply with the state's Open Meetings Act," reports Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The regulations, passed under Senate Bill 110 of this year's General Assembly, now go to another legislative panel. If they pass, optometrists may be allowed to perform the surgeries by year's end. The bill has been cause for controversy, in large part because it passed through the legislature in a swift 12 days. Oklahoma is the only other state that gives similar operating privileges to optometrists.
Ophtalmologists said Tuesday the optometric board "used a task force appointed by the state optometric association, a trade group, to develop the regulations, and those meetings were held in secret with no public input," Musgrave reports. Legislators and optometrists disagreed, saying public comment was allowed at an open meeting in July, and the regulations were altered after task force members took the comments into consideration. (Read more)