APLO expresses discontent with SPO
The Portuguese Association of Licensed Optometrists has expressed discontent with the pressure the Portuguese Ophthalmology Society has been placing against the integration of optometrists in the National Health System.
“Two proposals from the legislative house are at stake, from the political parties PAN and PCP, for optometrists to join the primary health services offered by the SNS – The National Health Service – as well as the attempt for the same proposals to be withdrawn. Such a withdrawal would be, in our opinion, a flaw in the duties undertaken by the House of Representatives to fight for the rights of the population, in this case, to improve people’s access to visual healthcare”, reports Raúl Sousa, president of the Association of Licensed Optometrists, or APLO.
Also, APLO clarifies, in response to the accusations made, that “the Higher Education Board classifies university studies in Optometry specifically in the medical area. APLO is composed of, exclusively, optometrists, and more than 80% of them hold an M.S degree or a B.S. that included a professional internship as it is in the overwhelming majority of European countries and most advanced countries in the world”.
APLO also defends that the integration of optometrists in the SNS is the way out for the chronical problem of the long waitlist for an ophthalmologist appointment, as well as for improving the access of all Portuguese citizens to the necessary vision health care.
“Considering that an optometrist can see an average of 6,000 patients a year, it is expected that the integration of 61 optometrists in the National Health System, the SNS, can put an end to the current waitlist. That is how problems such as this are solved in more developed countries, where optometry is offered at the same educational level as in Portugal“, concludes Raúl Sousa.
November 28, 2018