Armed Forces Optometric Society
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AFOS response to claim " Shulkin Says Get Rid Of VA Optometry, There Is A ‘LensCrafters On Every Corner’"

05 May 2017 2:49 PM | Anonymous

Shulkin Says Get Rid Of VA Optometry, There Is A ‘LensCrafters On Every Corner’

The Armed Forces Optometric Society is shocked to hear of the alleged suggestion by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to eliminate eye care from the VA’s healthcare system. 

Eye care is an essential and core component of the integrated health care the VA provides our nation’s Veterans.  Our VA optometrists see more patients per year than any other health care specialty.  Doctors of optometry are literally on the front line of care, often being the first health care professional to identify or detect systemic health issues in Veterans.  VA optometrists work in concert with the VA’s other health care professionals in the management of numerous medical conditions that can affect the eye like diabetes and hypertension.  This inter-professional communication to effectively coordinate care not only ensures that our Veterans receive the best possible care, but it also provides an economical and efficient path for Veterans to receive their health care.  In addition, VA optometrists are the primary providers of visual rehabilitation for Veterans that are blind and those that have sustained traumatic brain injury, services uniquely provided by the VA healthcare system. 

To eliminate or segregate eye care from the VA would cause a significant degradation of the level of care provided to VA patients and ultimately break the government's longstanding promise to care for our nation’s Veterans.  


  • 29 Dec 2018 1:31 PM | John Eastlake
    Actions speak louder than words. Don't you think half of military eyecare will go away, long before the VA would significantly change? If the addition of vision plans for retirees and family members isn't the critical step that will allow the military to cut it's optometry footprint in half, what is it? Active duty care should remain, as will a few unique positions either hired for ophthalmology (e.g. in the refractive surgery center or specialty contact lens fitting) or isolated locations that are too small for ophthalmology and need some eyecare presence.
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