Australian independent optometry group Eyecare Plus has invited New Zealand-based, private independent optometry group Eyepro Marketing to attend its national conference on the Gold Coast at the end of October as a first step towards affiliating the two groups.
“The invitation to attend the biennial conference marks the beginning of a relationship that will see the independent optometrists from New Zealand come together with their Australian counterparts to explore new ways of working together,” said Eyecare Plus chair Justin Durkin in a media statement. “We have the same values and many of the same challenges, so it makes sense for us to share knowledge and work together.”
Christchurch-based optometry owner Chris Clark, Eyepro managing director, said the affiliation is an exciting new step for Eyepro. “It’s a win-win. We’ll come together as independent optometrists and exchange ideas around best practice. I’m sure we can learn from each other and there will be obvious savings in terms of the development of resources.”
“We’ve had an exciting year with winning the Canstar Blue ratings for the most satisfied patients in Australia, but we can’t rest on our laurels,” said Durkin. “Our profession is becoming increasingly competitive and we need to continue to evolve our services for members.”
Established in 2003, Eyepro is currently New Zealand’s largest network of independent optometry practices, with more than 60 independently-owned practices. Like Eyecare Plus, it provides training for members, government contract negotiations and acts as a buying group for lenses, frames and equipment.