Last week, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed House Bill 1251, which allows optometrists to perform surgery on the eye ball and eye lid. We believe this would jeopardize patient safety and lower the quality of surgical eye care in the state of Arkansas.
HB 1251 now moves to the Arkansas Senate, where it will be heard in the Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee on Monday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m.
Here’s what we know:
- If enacted, this new law would allow optometrists–who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons–to perform delicate surgery on the eye and surrounding tissues using scalpels, lasers, and needles.
- When it comes to performing surgery, especially eye surgery, there is no substitute for medical school and residency to obtain the necessary level of education and training – which is currently required to perform eye surgery in in Arkansas.
- But HB 1251 removes this critical patient safeguard by granting optometrists broad surgical privileges to operate on your eyes while bypassing these critical training requirements.
CONTACTING YOUR SENATOR IS EASY
You can find your Senator by going to Locate Your Legislator on our website. This link will allow you to send them an email.
Additionally, you can leave messages for your Senator by calling the switchboard for the Senate at (501) 682-2902.
Tips on Contacting Legislators:
Put the House Bill number (HB 1251) in the subject line of the email.
Tell them who you are and why you are opposed to HB 1251.
Keep it concise and brief!