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Prince Edward Island eye care coverage expanded under new program

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island's health minister says people are getting expanded access to eye care services under changes now in effect.

Doug Currie says as of Aug. 1 the new optometry service program allows the costs of primary eye care by optometrists to be covered by the province.

Those services include diagnosis and the treatment of dry-eye and red-eye conditions as well as screening for eye diseases in patients with diabetes.

The government says about 12,000 Islanders live with diabetes and run a higher risk of developing eye conditions such as retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in North America.

Currie says the expanded program will reduce the need for referrals to specialists as well as visits to family doctors, emergency departments or walk-in clinics.

The Canadian Press

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