Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill Would Permit Optometrists To Perform Surgery

Jonny Hawkins
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A state senator Thursday proposed a bill that would allow optometrists to perform surgical procedures, rekindling a long-running political battle between optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, filed the bill (SB 1168) for consideration during the legislative session that starts March 7. Optometrists and ophthalmologists have repeatedly fought about what procedures optometrists should be allowed to perform — an issue known as "scope of practice."

Optometrists won a victory in 2013 when the Legislature approved allowing them to prescribe oral medications. But ophthalmologists have argued that optometrists do not have the same level of training as ophthalmologists.