A change of law sparks Moroccan opticians’ anger

A change of law sparks Moroccan opticians’ anger

Hundreds of opticians from across Morocco marched outside parliament in the capital of Rabat on 2 July, in a protest against a controversial legal provision which, if passed, will limit their scope of work. It is the fourth protest of its kind in three weeks.

The current draft form of the law in question states that opticians are to “deliver optical products that are designed to correct or protect sight,” with the added provision to “adapt and adjust optical products.” However the Moroccan National Syndicate of Opticians (SPNOM) worries that the new legal provision removes from the profession “all of the attributes that are recognised on an international scale”, severely limiting the work of Moroccan opticians.

Until now, opticians had tested the eyesight of their clients with a vision test, also called a refraction test, before prescribing glasses. Under the new law, only ophthalmologists will be allowed to perform these types of tests, forcing clients wishing to test their vision to first have to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist and then obtain a referral for appropriate optical products, significantly impacting on opticians’ business.

Ophthalmologists, on the other hand, argue that refraction is a medical procedure, which therefore falls in their field of expertise, even though opticians have been practicing the tests under a King’s decree from 1954, and have the appropriate training to do so.

The opticians plan to march again against what the SPNOM calls “a plot against the purchasing power of Moroccan citizens” this 10 July.

Topic: Optical News