IRIS the Visual Group is delighted that as of April 15th, Ontario residents will enjoy increased options for eye care services. Following the approval of new regulations for optometrists by the government of Ontario, a collaborative and integrated eye care model in optometry will be the norm across Canada. IRIS has been supporting this model across Canada for over 25 years, with over 500 Optometrists, Opticians and Ophthalmologists collaborating under the same brand to provide Canadians with the best vision care.

“Today is a historic day for our industry that will allow all Ontarians to have better eye health and long-term vision for years to come,” says Dr. Francis Jean, Optometrist and IRIS President. “I am proud to say that IRIS has been a key stakeholder in helping all Canadians experience better vision,” he adds.

IRIS played a key role in initiating these regulatory changes while providing the government with insight about the benefits of collaboration between eye care professionals. In 2008, a group of IRIS and independent optometrists formed the Coalition of Ontario Optometrists for Reform (COOR) to contest the rules and regulations of optometry in the province at the time. IRIS collaborated with both the College of Optometrists of Ontario and the Ontario Association of Optometrists to help achieve this milestone for eye care in the province.

These new regulations will significantly modernize the practice of optometry in Ontario. By enabling optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists to work closely together, higher standard of eye care for patients can be ensured. This is because solutions and treatments for issues related to corrective lenses, pathology and other eye conditions can be approached in a collaborative manner with the patient. Furthermore, the new regulations will facilitate access to prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses as well as provide patients with greater choice and convenience when seeking vision care. Supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council, this integrated model helps doctors build an optometric practice that offer patients a wide range of professional services in addition to eye examinations under one roof.

“I am passionate about elevating eye care to a level of reverence and value in society,” says Dr. Daryan Angle, Executive Vice President at IRIS, “This is why I am very proud to have collaborated on the advancement of the practice of optometry in Ontario. It is my belief that this will improve the quality of vision care for Ontarians,” he adds.

IRIS the Visual Group operates 163 stores across Canada, of which 14 are located in Ontario. The company also runs two laser surgery centres (one in Quebec and one in Langley, British Columbia). Every IRIS location gives patients access to: eye health and vision examinations; treatment of certain eye diseases; contact lens fittings; eyewear adjustments binocular vision evaluation as well as consultations for laser vision correction. These services are all provided under the care of an Optometrist and/or a licensed Optician working together to provide the best solutions. Patients can choose from a wide selection of frames, sunglasses and eyewear accessories with the assistance of a team of professionals to help them find the best option to match their face shape and lifestyle so they can experience better vision. The company plans to continue expanding its network across the country, including in Ontario.

SOURCE IRIS The Visual Group