Vets association says vet shortage can be fixed

Beef Central, 27/07/2023

WHILE deregulation of veterinary services may be seen as the answer to the current veterinarian shortage, the Australian Veterinary Association believes improving regulation to include all members of the veterinary team, such as veterinary nurses is one to the strategies needed to address the challenges facing the sector.

“Rather than lowering standards of animal care to fill the gap left by too few veterinarians, we should be looking at how best to extend quality veterinary care to all animals. Strong regulation, whether it is the veterinary or animal welfare legislation, underpins animal care and welfare,” explained AVA NSW Division President, Dr Zachary Lederhose.

There has been a rash of producer concern expressed in recent Beef Central reader comments on articles relating to the decline in veterinary services in the bush, such as this article – Country vet shortage growing concern for farmers.   

In its submission to the NSW Parliament Legislative Council’s Inquiry into the veterinary workforce shortage, the AVA says that current regulation is too focused solely on veterinarians, and needs to be expanded to the whole veterinary team.

“Veterinarians are governed by a strong professional and ethical code equivalent to that of the medical profession, and their expertise and judgment underpin the community obligation to the health and welfare of animals and the maintenance of public safety,” Dr Lederhose stated.
The AVA also believes that extending regulation to other members of the veterinary practice workforce, such as veterinary nurses should be part of the response.

“Registration of other members of the veterinary team would increase the capacity and efficiency of the workforce by setting professional standards for working under the oversight of veterinarians,” Dr Lederhose said.

The AVA is confident that the veterinary shortage can be addressed.

“We are hopeful that outcomes of this inquiry will lead to strategies that will make NSW a sought-after destination for veterinarians, and also act as a pilot for how this issue could be addressed at a national level,” Dr Lederhose added.


Source: Australian Veterinary Association






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  1. Tracey Gowen, 28/07/2023

    Who is suggesting that deregulation of veterinary services is the answer, apart from Beef Central? Your ‘rash’ of producer concern in your previous article was a whole four comments, none of which were calling for changes in regulation. Our markets, consumers and the community all expect and require high standards of service provision, which is the result of standardised, accredited education, professional registration and a legal framework within which to operate.
    Additionally it would be more transparent to have an author listed for your articles; surely one person is responsible for them unless you’re letting chatGPT run the show. Readers have a right to know who penned articles which contain quite subjective statements.

    Thanks for your comment, Tracey. We’d like to make four points. Firstly, Beef Central has never suggested that deregulation of veterinary services is the answer – we simply report what other stakeholders have said. Secondly, the previous article example linked-to in this article, which you correctly point out had four reader comments, is just one of a sequence of items relating to this topic which have attracted multiple reader comments. By our rough tally, about 20 – we’d call that significant. Thirdly, we take some offence at your suggestion that Beef Central may be ‘letting chatGPT run the show.’ Readers can be assured that chatGPT has never once been used to generate editorial content produced by us for our websites. At the very least, we would inform readers if that was ever to occur. Fourthly, it is standard practise not to include our own bylines on content our journalists have not written themselves. The source, in this example and in all such articles, is published at the bottom. In this case, it was the Australian Veterinary Association, from which AVA NSW Division President, Dr Zachary Lederhose is widely quoted in the article. It could hardly be more transparent. Editor

  2. Don Finlay, 27/07/2023

    Sounds like airy fairy from NSW, president of AVMA. VET nurses don’t want to be in the bush anymore than veterinarians. Full Stop. End of the idea.

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