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Thread: Letter from the Puerto Rico Academy of Opticians

  1. #1
    Bad address email on file Mark Miller- POF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Other Eyecare-Related Field

    Letter from the Puerto Rico Academy of Opticians

    The following is the rough translation of a letter that POF received in the mail from the President of the Puerto Rico Academy of Opticians. Their story sound much like the story of some States here on the mainland.

    I plan to send the a letter that is filled with encouragement and some ideas and strategies that have worked for us. Are there any thoughts you would like to share our colleagues in P.R.? You are welcome to respond directly to their president Gertrudis Rivera Flores at the address below or you can send them to me and I will incorporate them into my letter to them.

    Mark A. Miller
    Executive Director
    Professional Opticians of Florida
    1947 Greenwood Drive - Tallahassee, FL 32303


    14 de June de 2002


    Warm greetings from the members of the board of directors of the Academy of
    Opticians of Puerto Rico, and myself. Our organization is one without profitable means and was founded in 1997 by men and women that have fought and worked for the benefit of our profession. We are properly registered with the Department of State of the Associated Free State of Puerto Rico, and we are suppliers of Continuous Education of the Office of Regulation and Certification of Health Professionals. I have been working within this organization since June of 2000; and since the 20th of May, I have presiding over it.

    Recently, I received informational material regarding the activity of your organization during the month of July, and saw something that motivated me to write to you. It said, "Support the only association in Florida that protects your license and profession." This is what I want to obtain in my country, and the reason I ask for aid and orientation.

    In Puerto Rico, the practices of opticians are regulated by Law 152 of June 3, 1976. Although this law created the Examining Council of Opticians and is the one that regulates and certifies licensed opticians, it cannot intervene or take action against those who practice the profession illegally. What can we do about this problem? Perhaps you can give some answer to our problem.

    We have put before the Chamber of Representatives of the Government of Puerto Rico a project of compulsory school registration in an attempt to create an organization that assembles and groups requirements for opticians, and that would help us obtain economic and legal power that
    now we do not have to fight illegal practice. But the president of the College of Optometrists of Puerto Rico has displayed persistent opposition, conditioning his support on the condition that we discontinue the dispensing of contact lens. Naturally, we will not do this. For this reason, our project of school registration has become paralyzed. We need mechanisms that can help us to push and obtain the approval of compulsory school registration.

    On the other hand, our organization, together with a group of optician owners, sees the necessity of presenting a millionaire demand (million dollar law suit?) against the College of Optometrists of Puerto Rico before the implementation of Article 23, which qualifies opticians as third-class persons who cannot maintain contractual relations with optometrists. This article is a danger to our profession and limits the rights of opticians; since without an optometrist who generates a prescription, many opticians will have to close. This demand is before the consideration of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.

    Our profession is constantly being threatened; and if we do not fight, our situation will become worse, perhaps until opticians no longer exist. The excessive establishment of chains of opticians in the country and the wish of groups of visual health professionals that want to prevent the development and future of our profession, together with the lacking governmental mechanisms that protect us, cause us concern. This is our reason for asking for aid, information, resources, and mechanisms that you can provide us. Only the union and aid of those who have equal purposes as ours can help us reach the goal of obtaining the respect and recognition of our profession.

    I appreciate your attention and wait for your answer, knowing that this will not be the first and only communication between our organizations. I close not without sending greetings and wishes for much success in your next activity.


    Gertrudis Rivera Flores
    Licensed Optician
    Presidenta PRAO, Inc.

    Letter from Puerto Rico Academy of Opticianry, Inc.
    Padilla el Caribe #14
    Cidra, P.R. 00739
    Tel: 787/479-7870
    Tel/Fax: 787/739-7173

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Dispensing Optician
    To assist in the development of Puerto Rican opticianry consider funding an opticianry school with say, a six (6) month opticianry program, and try to get the local ophthalmologists to oversee the curriculum.

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