By: Antonio Chirumbolo SUNY 2013
August 15th 2011 – House Bill 838 is making its way through state legislature. House Bill 838 essentially defines what is and what is not considered ophthalmic surgery, and if passed, would certainly put shackles on any future advancement in the scope of practice for optometrists in the state of Pennsylvania. One of the highlights of the bill specifically prohibits the use of lasers and other high-tech instruments used in surgical procedures. The bill has already made its way through the House and is now pending approval by Senate. The legislative committee is currently on recess for the summer, but in September, the committee could resume deliberation.
This is yet another example of why students and optometrists in must be involved or at least knowledgeable about the legislative battles engulfing our profession. Optometry will not be able to grow and the scope of practice will not be able to expand if bills like House Bill 838 are continuously manufactured and allowed to pass through legislation unopposed.
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