Before the establishment of a publicly funded animal healthcare system, Victoria’s acute veterinary shortages must be addressed more thoroughly, according to a veterinarians’ organisation.
The “Veticare” plan introduced by Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick will give free or subsidised veterinarian care for qualifying animals in Victoria’s upper house on Tuesday, similar to the Medicare scheme.
By building a network of public clinics and specialised wildlife hospitals, the suggested approach would help veterinary nurses become nurse practitioners.
In addition to caring for paying clients, Veticare would alleviate the burden placed on veterinarians to treat wounded or displaced wildlife brought in by the public.
According to the Western Victoria MP, the scheme’s cost is unknown.
The president of the Australian Veterinary Association, Bronwyn Orr, applauded the concept but stated that other concerns must be addressed first.
She told AAP, “It’s all well and good to have subsidised veterinary treatment, but you actually need the veterinarians to do it.”
Dr. Orr believed that incentives, such as a reduction in college debt for recent graduates, were important to assure a statewide distribution of veterans.
It would take some time, according to Meddick, to establish a programme to train veterinary nurses as nurse practitioners.