Guangzhou, China , 25 May 2017: The first Asia-Pacific Optometric Practice Forum 2017 was held this month in China. Brien Holden Vision Institute was instrumental in planning and organising the Forum with the main theme described as Optometric Development – Synergies in Asia-Pacific.
The leading objective of Asia-Pacific Optometric Practice Forum was to provide a discussion platform for optometric experts from different countries and territories to propose a suitable optometric practice model that meets the current needs and demand in China.
Delegates included key and prominent practicing optometrists representing the optometric associations and centers from China, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. Industry enthusiasm was high as it was the first optometric practice forum in the Asia Pacific region.
The optical industry in China has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. With increasing competition amongst optical shops, and with the additional pressure exuded from online sales of spectacles and contact lenses, there is a strong urge from these optical shops to upgrade their services and provide better eye care to their patients if they want to remain competitive within the industry.
The evolving context represents a huge market potential for a practice upgrade in China. However, there are many challenges ahead particularly in the areas of legislation, scope of practice, education model, eye health care system, existing gaps and barriers in the current systems including competency of practitioners and setup of their practices. It is thus important to leverage on the experience and best practice models from other countries to develop a suitable practice model in China.
Brien Holden Vision Institute has many linkages with successful optometric practitioners around the world, including in Asia-Pacific. Through the Forum, the optometric experts in the region have shared and discussed the models of their own optometric practices, services and operational experience, contributing and addressing both the positive and negative aspects. The outcome is clear steps towards mapping out the key elements of an appropriate optometric practice model for China.
“The optometric practice model originated from the West. Their models have evolved over the past decades and thus copying this model directly in Asia, including China, may not work. We knew there was a need to review the model based on the local situations.
This was the objective, to have fellow experts from the region share, discuss and identify the correct elements for a model that is most suited to China and its future in optometry.” Dr. Tan Kah Ooi, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, China.
The discussions from the recent Forum will be summarised and compiled in a framework paper entitled Chinese Optometric Practice Model – Perspectives from Asia-Pacific Experts. Brien Holden Vision Institute will continue to promote the development of the optometric industry in China by facilitating practice upgrade opportunities and this may include providing an interactive platform with international networking opportunities.