Georgia governor gives a second glance to an optometry bill

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Georgia governor gives a second glance to an optometry bill

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Daulton Venglar
Anna Stalcup administers a vision test to Amanda Luna,11, (left) at the Seton Medical Mission at Seton Medical Center Hays on Saturday January 28, 2017. Daulton Venglar/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Gov. Nathan Deal took an extra look at a bill that expands the abilities of optometrists in the state.

He signed into law Tuesday Senate Bill 153, which intitally related to hearing aids but was transformed into a bill that allows an optometrist to diagnose and treat certain eye conditions through injection — a procedure previously only ophthalmologists performed.

The newly signed law, sponsored by state Sen. Matt Brass, R- Newnan, requires optometrists to show proof of a license or certificate of successful training issued by a credentialed school.

Shortly after, Deal issued an executive order that requires the Department of Public Health to provide guidance as to the “appropriate curriculum” needed to be included in the training.

While Deal, in the order, understood the bill to be “intended to improve access to treatment and the public health of Georgians,” he issued separate precautions “in order to protect the public health” of people in the state.

A doctor of optometry is still not allowed to treat systemic diseases.

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