Saturday , June 23, 2018

Doctors seek help against fake optometrists

A COUNCIL ordinance against illegal practice of optometry in the city, which endangers public health, was requested by the Optometric Association of the Philippines (OAP) through a letter sent to Mayor Mauricio Domogan last week.

OAP officer Roma Mangangey said the ordinance will be used in addition to a Department of the Interior of Local Government memorandum circular affirming the Revised Optometry Law of 1995 where the practice of optometry is a recognized science and art and the use of “diagnostic pharmaceutical agents, preventive or corrective measures or procedures” is for the “aid, correction, rehabilitation or relief of the human eye, or to attain maximum vision and comfort.”

Only those certified by the Board of Optometry and registered with the Professional Regulations Commission are qualified to practice; use instruments, tools, visual aids and related devices, prescribe and dispense lenses, contact lenses, accessories and supplies, counsel patients as to vision and eye care, practice in proper service areas and charge fees for optometric services.

Other than those prescribed in the optometry law are deemed unauthorized practice. Penalties for violations range from P10,000 up to P40,000, imprisonment, or both; as decided by the court.

The illegal practice may result to headaches, eye strain, permanent eye damage and blindness, Mangangey said in her letter.

However, the practice of selling eyeglasses in the guise of “sale” or “promo” is rampant within Baguio and Benguet due to lack of awareness, Mangangey further said.

Mangangey said an awareness program “Project Pekeng Eye Dok,” will be launched in coordination with government agencies against pseudo optometrist practitioners who perform refraction and selling of eyeglasses, which are exclusive functions of licensed optometrists.

The OAP, Mangangey said, feels responsible in their role of protecting people’s eyesight in accordance to, and in the enforcement of the optometric law and the code of ethics. (PR)