Optometry does not fall within the list of essential services as defined by the National Department of Health.
To ensure the protection of Practitioners, supporting staff, their families and patients from exposure to the scourge of the COVID-19 virus, World of Vision Optometrists will be closed for the duration of the lock down period and restrict our services to emergent cases in accordance with the guidelines stipulated below.
We fully support the Government in their plight to combat further community spread and a wider outbreak of the COVID-19 viral disease. Also, of critical importance are immediate efforts to assure continued access to essential health care, including emergent care and to reduce current and expected burdens on emergency departments.
Urgent care is defined as care provided for conditions or situations which require prompt attention but are typically not of such seriousness as to require the services of an emergency room; this would include (e.g.) broken spectacles.
Emergent care is defined as care for conditions requiring prompt attention due to a sudden change in the eye or visual health such as sore, scratchy eyes or contact lens complications.
As Primary health professionals, with ethical obligations to patients, Optometrists will use their professional judgement, based on the immediate eye health needs of patients to determine the timing of care, including assessing patient expressed urgency.
WORLD OF VISION’S PLAN OF ACTION:
The practice will be closed for the duration of the lock down period: 27 March to 30 April 2020:
- We are prepared to stay later than our usual trading hours on 25 and 26 March 2020. This will be managed on an appointment basis to minimise social contact. If you cannot collect your spectacles or contact lenses during our normal business hours on these days, contact our reception and arrange suitable times. We will only provide this service to patients who made arrangements and will not stay open otherwise.
- In the case of an emergent situation during the lock down period, patients can contact one of our resident optometrists: Yda van der Post 083 230 6353 or Chantelle van der Merwe 079 314 5174.
- The necessity for a consultation will be assessed in each individual case.
- All non-essential care (non-urgent and non-emergent) will be rescheduled until after the lock down period.
The South African Optometric Association (SAOA) is closely monitoring developments and will actively provide updates regarding COVID-19 to ensure that Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians as well as the general public not only understand the risks associated with this pandemic but also have the latest information available for continued patient care.
Our priority is to support the health and safety of the public and our staff and we will continue to assess the situation and update recommendations accordingly.
WORLD of VISION TEAM