Opticians in BA


Jul 13, 2005
Does anyone know whether an optician would honour a prescription from Canada? Or would I have to go to an eye doctor in BA first? I'm blind as a bat without my contact lenses, but to get a pair of glasses here the lenses alone will cost $700-$800 CAD (about AR$1800), then also the cost of frames.

I only want to get a pair of glasses because I think wearing my lenses 16hrs a day is probably not very good in the end, but I know I'll only wear the glasses at home so they don't really seem worth the pricetag in Canada.
I inquired at OPTICA ALVEAR S.R.L. in Barrio Norte. They do not have a problem using my current eyeglass RX from the USA. It is located on Marcelo T. de Alvear 2263, tel 4827-4034. The optician's name I spoke to is Gustavo.
I have been shopping around for new glasses and find that lenses are expensive a sthey are imported. However, your price seems very high. I am going to pay about $300 USD for multifocals including lenses. I think you should shop around.
Yes, no one ever belioeves the cost of lenses for me. I could get $300US glasses if I was willing to wear coke bottles that weigh a half pound each.

My prescription is about -11.5 and -10.25 -- we aren't talking reading glasses here. There's only one brand of contact lenses on the market that makes lenses up to my prescription and that don't irritate my eyes. Laser surgery isn't an option either since I already have dry eyes, and last time I checked they only do lasedx up to -8, and after that there's no guarantee that you won't have night vision problems and worsened dry eyes. (Most laser surgery candidates are -5 or less).

Anyway, I'll have a look round when I get there, otherwise I'll just keep going with the disposable lenses I've got.
I am confused about what you want. Lenses here are expensive because they are imported. If there is no price advantage in Argentina, you might as well get them in Canada. Doesn't the Canadian health system pay for that? We keep hearing how wonderful health care is in Canada.
ok, you're right - I was being a bit flip. Good luck with the glasses.
Actually, it is only your visits to the opthamologist that are covered by the government medical plan. I get tax rebates on my contact lenses, but I suppose they are considered "cosmetic" so they are not covered. Laser surgery is also considered cosmetic so you pay the bill yourself. Once you get to the point of being legally blind then I think everything is covered for you, but up until then you pay for lenses & frames yourself and then get a tax deduction on the lenses at the end of the year.

The Canadian medical system is like every other socialised system in the world right now -- it's slowly crumbling to pieces.

Just the other night I was saying to my flatmate and my sister (an obstetrician) that I would happily pay more than my C$54 a month if it meant that the system would be improved, but my flatmate, who makes $80,000 a year, got all upset and thought that we are already paying too much. So my sister told him that from the outside he's got no idea how hard the hospitals are trying to save money now -- the doctors used to get free batteries for their pagers, if the battery died they just went to the nurses station and got another -- now they have to buy them themselves, which saves the hospital $12-24 per year per doctor!

It does seem that the Canadian system will soon have to switch to a two-tiered system, which will be quite sad. As I said the other night, if they think that saving $12 on batteries will help, I don't see why they don't increase the monthly fee to $60 (at least for those with salaries over $25k/30k) - a $6 raise per person should give the system a huge boost.
My admittedly sarcastic comment about Canadian health care was influenced by what I have read and what Canadians themselves have told me about very long waits and other health care problems in Canada. I am paying quite a lot in Argentina (by local standards) -- about $450 pesos a month -- however the care I have received over the years has been very good. The problem here, however, is the lack of control over the system, even when the plan is one of the best. To help ensure good care one has to be very alert to make sure good care is given. You can not be sure that a doctor is qualified merely because he is a UBA graduate. You can, however, be pretty sure that a doctor is well qualified if he has graduated of Harvard, University of Pennsylvania etc. I know some will disagree but this has been my experience in the US and Argentina. All things considered, I´d rather pay for a good plan like Blue Cross/Shield in the US than depend on a bureaucratic socialized system but I admit that there are gaps in the US system that need to be filled.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
M Expat Life 2
Similar threads