Optometrists have temporarily ceased their job action in response to an emergency legislation filed by the State Senate that would exempt optometrists from licensing requirements they are working against in legislative action. Optometrists have been taking on bigger roles as doctors of optometry, and government officials in five states have taken steps to remove their licensing from states including Texas and Virginia.
Nearly 400 optometrists had walked off the job from a network of Family Medicine Practices through a campaign organized by Optometry Virginia Inc. over the last month. Some doctors lost their optometry license, and others are on leave pending the resolution of licensing cases.
“The suspension of optometric licensure is denying vulnerable adults and children with eye health problems the access to care that is critical to ensuring their health and well-being,” said Dr. Mitchell Greenberg, director of optometry and optometry medicine, The College of Optometrists of Virginia.
Optometrists will resume job action when and if the Senate bill becomes law, Optometry Virginia said.
Optometrists note that their under-appreciated role as caregivers for the elderly and kids is going unappreciated by the state.