Optometrists, who didn't go through medical school, now will be allowed to perform a few types of eye surgery.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's office announced Thursday that the governor has signed into law the heavily-lobbied bill by Republican Rep. Rogers Pope, of Denham Springs. It takes effect immediately.
Ophthalmologists, who are medical doctors and already could perform the procedures allowed under the bill, opposed the change. They and other critics of the bill said optometrists didn't have enough training to perform surgery.
Supporters said the expansion will give people greater access to eye care and only involved procedures for which the optometrists will receive additional training.
The bill prohibits optometrists from performing any injections into the eye and from using anesthesia.