Orthoptists can now prescribe first corrective lenses

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

From 1er in february 2023, patients aged 16 to 42 years can consult an orthoptist for a first prescription of corrective lenses. This measure, which was provided for in the Social Security Financing Act for 2022, takes effect more than one year after its promulgation according to a decree published in Official Journal of 31 January 2023.

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Image 1Crédits: Nicholas Felix/ -

A decree of 26 April 2022 specified the conditions for this new measure opening the prescription to orthoptists:

  • the visual assessment and the prescription can be carried out by the orthoptist for patients aged between 16 and 42 years and not having any of the contraindications listed by order of the Minister in charge of Health;
  • for patients already wearing corrective lenses, the visual assessment and prescription can only be carried out by the orthoptist if the last visual assessment carried out by the ophthalmologist is less than 5 years old;
  • for patients already wearing soft contact lenses, the visual assessment and prescription can only be done by the orthoptist if the last visual assessment performed by the ophthalmologist is less than 3 years old.

A final regulatory text makes it possible to make the provision effective from 1er February 2023. The decree of 25 January 2023 sets out the final terms expected, namely the list of contraindications the prescription of corrective lenses and the performance of the visual assessment by the orthoptist.

Orthoptists are now entitled to prescribe eyeglasses and corrective lenses for direct access. They may do a visual evaluation and a prescription.

This new measure aims to make the journey of care easier and to save medical time:

  • reduce waiting times;
  • free up medical time for ophthalmologists for patients with more complex conditions;
  • make visual care more accessible. As orthoptists are a paramedical profession, they cannot exceed their fees.

Please note

The text also states that in case of doubt about a situation or a pathology not provided for in the order, the orthoptic surgeon refers his patient to the ophthalmologist.

Please note

Orthopia is a paramedical profession dedicated to the screening, rehabilitation, and functional exploration of vision disorders. It can affect anyone, from children to the elderly.