For more than 40 years, Eyecare Plus Werribee (formerly Werribee Optical Centre) has been delivering independent eye care services, its independence fiercely guarded by optometrists Tony van Aalst and Christine Quach, owner of the business since last year.
Christine says it’s a challenge to compete against large corporate optometry chains, with huge budgets and fancy marketing slogans.
“Since I graduated from University of Melbourne in 2000, we’ve seen the optometry landscape change significantly,” she says. “I’ve worked in diverse settings, from small independent clinics to large corporate chains – in the heart of Melbourne to the outback of Northern Territory.
“It’s these experiences that have convinced me that remaining independent and people-focused is the best model for optimal eye care. We can tailor our care to every individual without being bound by directives from ‘head-office’.
“Continuity of care is important. Our patients won’t see a different optometrist each time so that over time we get to know them, and them us.
“Our optical dispensers are locals and often go the extra distance to ensure complete care – it’s not unusual for them to offer home delivery to our vulnerable patients or spend extra time sourcing a particular frame or lenses for a patient.”
Full scope eye care
Everything is covered, from spectacle and contact lens prescriptions to diagnosing and managing eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye care.
Christine is qualified to prescribe eye medications to treat and co-manage a range of eye conditions, such as conjunctivitis and eye inflammation. Patients range in age from babyhood to 90-plus years old.
Eye care during pandemic
Christine has spent hours on the phone discussing eye problems with patients and guiding them through this period.
“During COVID-19, many people are unsure whether they can or should come into the clinic. If anyone has any concerns about their eyesight or eye health, we encourage them to contact us and we’d be happy to talk and determine whether a consultation is needed.”
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Eyecare Plus Werribee, 171 Watton Street, Werribee. Opens 9am-5.30pm Monday-Friday; 9am-noon Saturday. Inquiries: 9741 3759, visit www.eyecareplus.com.au/werribee or follow on Facebook and Instagram