VA prohibits Oklahoma optometrists from performing laser procedures

Wednesday, December 22nd 2004, 5:53 am

By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The US Department of Veterans Affairs says Oklahoma optometrists can't perform certain laser vision procedures at VA clinics.

The decision was prompted by an Oklahoma optometrist who wanted to perform a laser procedure typically done on glaucoma patients.

It ended months of negotiating between optometrists, who are not medical doctors, and ophthalmologists, physicians who specialize in the eye.

The Legislature authorized optometrists to perform some laser procedures in 1998. Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that allows optometrists to perform laser surgery.

Veteran's groups objected to Oklahoma optometrists working in the federal system. They say the VA was putting them at risk by offering substandard levels of care.

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