PLANS are under way for a 24-hour veterinary clinic in Epsom.
Apiam Animal Health and PETstock signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to work towards opening the 24-hour emergency and referral centre at the recently-opened Epsom PETstock store.
The clinic will contain a CT machine and is expected to open early next year.
In a statement, Apiam – which is headquartered in East Bendigo – claimed it had identified a “strong need” for a 24-hour clinic in Bendigo, as many cases for specialist surgery are required to be transferred to Melbourne.
Vets in Bendigo currently offer emergency 24-hour on-call services.
In addition to a CT machine, the planned Epsom clinic would contain other diagnosis equipment, veterinarians experienced in surgery and medicine, along with general and emergency vets.
Once the 24-hour clinic was complete, Apiam planned to open further vet clinics in PETstock outlets throughout regional Victoria in the first half of 2019.
Apiam managing director Chris Richards said he expected the partnership would benefit both businesses.
“The alliance would immediately open up a new market demographic for Apiam as we could leverage our broad service offering across PETstock’s large customer base,” he said.
“It is also consistent with our strategy of increasing our presence in the high growth and under-serviced regional and rural companion animal market.”
PETstock chief executive officer Shane Young said the company looked forward to adding “technical expertise” within its regional and rural outlets.