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HomeminewsVEI in Growth Mode

VEI in Growth Mode

Vision Eye Institute (VEI) is on a growth path, having expanded its ophthalmic consulting business into South Australia by partnering with Eye Surgeons SA (ESSA) and Tennyson Eye Centre. The move has added three new clinics and three more consulting locations to its network, which now comprises 21 eye clinics and 10 day surgeries servicing the eastern seaboard.

James Thiedeman, VEI’s chief executive officer, told mivision we can expect to see more acquisitions over the coming year as well as a possible expansion into the ASEAN region.

He believes the pandemic, along with other significant challenges, including new accreditation requirements, funding complexities, and the continuous need to invest in software and equipment, has made corporate structures more appealing to ophthalmologists who previously preferred to go it alone.

“Now that we’re through the worst part of the pandemic, there is a desire to spend as much time in the surgery and consulting room and one way to do this is in partnership with a bigger organisation like ours. We can help ophthalmologists meet requirements of this changing landscape, while offering them clinical and medical sovereignty.”

Now in its 21st year, and as Australia’s largest private ophthalmology provider, VEI is able to provide several other advantages to clinicians.

“Our speciality lends itself well to scale, especially when you consider the significant investment required in technology and clinical staff needed to run a clinic. We’re at a scale now where we can employ dedicated personnel to manage aspects of the business like procurement, human resources, risk management, infection control strategies, research and innovation etc. That provides our ophthalmologists with time and freedom to focus on providing eye care.

“With scale, you also have strength in numbers when it comes to negotiating with suppliers over costs, and private health insurers to ensure rebates to our day surgeries that both cover costs and allow for investment in new technologies. And, you can invest in professional development, provide more appealing employment conditions and build a holistic offering that promotes cross referrals.”

Mr Thiedeman said VEI is actively looking to expand across Australia while at the same time, moving into Asia.

“Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have a burgeoning middle class that is increasingly educated about their eye care options. With our strong reputation, particularly in laser refractive surgery, we believe we are well placed to establish ourselves in the ASEAN region, using one of these countries as the beachhead.”