Vernon seniors help make a difference in eye care

Local branch lobbies provincial government to amend policies

The members of the Vernon branch of the B.C. Pensioners and Seniors Organization are proud they were able to make a difference to eye health care in the province.

All branches submit resolutions on a variety of topics at the annual conventions and those that are accepted are forwarded to the government agency, provincial or federal, that deals with the issues. .

Vernon Seniors Branch submitted a resolution in 2011 that read, in part, “Be it resolved that the government adopt the soft lens as their standard in all cataract surgeries.” The resolution was accepted by the provincial government and became effective June 4.

This means that the soft lenses will be used rather than the former hard lenses. Previously, people who required cataract surgery and wanted the soft lenses had to buy them at a cost ranging from $210 to $500. The cost of the standard hard lens was not deducted from this amount.

The soft foldable monofocal lenses will now be provided for all cataract surgeries. The health authorities will also be offering specialty lenses, such as multifocals, at reduced prices with the patient paying only the cost difference between the lens they choose and the standard lens.

“This is very important because it will improve the quality of care with smaller incisions and less chance of infection. The hard lens goes back to the 1980s and it was time to keep up with today’s technology,” said Ed Tanaka, Vernon Seniors Branch  member.

“Since when were the eyes not part of the human body? If you get a hip replacement, do you pay for your ball and socket?”

Annual membership in the Vernon Seniors Branch is $10 and  being a member, even if a person is not able to be active at the time, helps the organization by showing community support.

Meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. (except July and August) at the Schubert Centre. For more information call Tanaka at 250-545-3552.


Vernon Morning Star