Georgia governor passes bill expanding scope of optometrist practices
ATLANTA, Ga. -- On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that expands the scope of procedures that optometrists can practice.
Among the procedures that the bill, SB 153, allows optometrists to practice is injections into the eye, something that previously only ophthalmologists were permitted to do.
State representative Dr. James Beverly, who is also an optometrist, said he has been a supporter of this bill since it was introduced. He said that it is good for optometrists because they can now better care for their patients.
Beverly said that before this bill, optometrists were only permitted to simply write prescriptions for antibiotics to help combat common ailments such as pink eye, but now he said they will be able to get right to the problem by performing injections.
Beverly said that other states such as Tennessee already allow optometrists to perform injects with a certification, so he is happy to see Georgia following along with the trend.
Additionally, he said that this bill will help those who live in rural areas of Georgia and do not have immediate access to an ophthalmologist. He said oftentimes, people who live in these areas are forced to make an appointment and drive several miles to see an ophthalmologist if they have an emergency but that with this new bill, those individuals can visit their local optometrist to get treatment.