One of my pals is an Ophtalmologue .. and as we were having lunch together today... I took the opportunity to discuss this thread with him.
Oh dear.. you English and your Forums.... (he said with a smile).. yes, a person will need to see an Ophtalmo... but they are all very busy... I, myself, have no space until next year !
Well, as you might imagine.. I asked how the system could be circumvented.. or if it could. His advice was to make a friend of your Medecin Traitent "who can cut through everything with an Ordonnance"... or to find an Optician who was prepared to (at least) check existing glasses and who would then probably/possibly recommend a visit to the Ophtalmo as and when.... (Due to the backlog..it seems that new Ophtalmo's are being urgently sought by the Health Service...and Opticiens and Doctors will help as much as possible, where they can.)
anyway.. it made for an interesting discussion around the table... everyone putting in their two penn'orth (or the French equivalent).