Stand Up for Patient Safety in Wyoming

This February, the Wyoming State Legislature will be considering legislation that would allow optometrists, who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons, to perform scalpel and laser surgery on your eyes. This legislation, Senate File 29, represents a radical departure from the standard of medical and surgical care in Wyoming and places patient safety and quality of surgical outcomes at risk.

Only five states in the entire nation have watered down their standards of patient safety to the extent that SF29 would do in Wyoming. What’s more, the Veterans Administration (VA) does not permit optometrists to perform surgeries in their facilities. They know what Wyoming legislators do not – there is no such thing as a SIMPLE laser or scalpel eye surgery!

You can help defeat this unsafe plan again by contacting your State Representative and Senators. Click on the link below to contact your legislator and ask them to VOTE NO on SF 29!

IMPLICATIONS OF SENATE FILE 29

  • Allow optometrists open ended authority to perform more than 100 different types of surgeries on and around the eye;
  • Remove the authority of the Wyoming Board of Medicine to solely determine the necessary requirements and oversight for those performing eye surgery in Wyoming;
  • Permit optometrists to take a needle and inject potent pharmaceutical agents into the tissues surrounding the eye;
  • Double the likelihood a patient would need additional treatment when certain procedures are performed by an optometrist as compared to an ophthalmologist – resulting in higher costs to patients and the healthcare system;
  • Go against the will of Wyoming people – with 78% of Wyoming voters opposing a change in law to allow optometrists to perform eye surgeries when educated on the issue

Optometrists are an important part of the eyecare team, but they are not surgeons or medical doctors who have a minimum of eight years of post-college medical and surgical training. And 89% of Wyoming residents say that access to the eye care they need is already readily available. So why put patients at risk?

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