Tell Your Legislator to vote NO on HB 1251, Optometrist Surgery Bill

According to a new statewide poll, nearly 65% of Arkansas voters
oppose legislation that would allow optometrists to perform eye surgeries with
lasers and scalpels. Currently, only specially trained medical doctors, such as
ophthalmologists, can perform those types of procedures. The poll, conducted by
Impact Management Group for the Arkansas Medical Society, found that 64.94% of
Arkansas voters opposed these changes, with 48.41% of Arkansas voters “strongly
opposing” them.

“The results show that Arkansas voters recognize the importance of the training and
expertise that ophthalmologists bring to their eye health,” said Arkansas Medical
Society President R. Lee Archer, MD. “The voters do not want to see the standard of
care diminished when it comes to the health of the only two eyes they will ever

When survey respondents were given information about the differences in training
and education required to become licensed as an optometrist and an
ophthalmologist, opposition to the proposal increased to 79.48%, with 61.35%
strongly opposed.

“Arkansans overwhelmingly prefer a properly-trained medical doctor who is an
expert in intricate eye surgeries compared to more convenient access,” said Scott
Lowery, M.D., an ophthalmologist and President of the Arkansas Ophthalmological
Society. “The poll data proves that Arkansas voters are savvy and understand that
proper training and experience is key to protecting the eye health of themselves and
their families.”

We need you to tell your legislator to vote no on HB 1251. 

To find your legislator and send them a message, visit the advocacy page on our website.