Orthoptists can now prescribe glasses and contact lenses under certain conditions

So far, their abilities have been limited to renewing certain visual fixes. Orthoptists have been allowed to prescribe glasses or contact lenses since a decree was published in the Official Journal on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022, reports capital city. According to the National Autonomous Union of Orthoptists (SNAO), this good news should bring some relief to the approximately six million patients who are struggling to access visual aids in France. And limit waiting times in ophthalmological practices.

Unlike ophthalmologists, this new power to prescribe orthoptists is subject to conditions. The patient must be between 16 and 42 years old. If he already wears glasses, he can only see an orthoptist if his last ophthalmological vision assessment was less than five years ago, or three years for contact lens wearers.

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Part of the contraindications is unknown

As our colleagues report, the contraindications listed in a decree have not yet been published in the Official Journal. Hence this decree “does not fully apply at the moment”after the President of the National Union of Ophthalmologists (SNO) quoted by capital city. In fact, if any of these contraindications is identified, the orthoptist must refer the patient to an ophthalmologist. The decree is expected to be published in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, a 2011 list prepared by the High Authority for Health (HAS) already identifies some of the contraindications under consideration, designed to allow orthoptists to exercise their new prerogatives of avoiding the writing of a prescription when certain disorders observed, such as glaucoma or multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Privileges

As primary prescribers, orthoptists can also renew their own prescriptions that are less than two years old and thus their patients’ vision corrections. After this period, they must go to an ophthalmologist to perform this renewal.

Finally, this decree authorizes orthoptists to screen children aged 9 to 15 months for amblyopia and children aged 30 months to five years for visual disorders without the need for a doctor’s prescription. In terms of reimbursement, an orthoptic prescription could have the same value as a medical prescription. New announcements should intervene on this issue.

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