The veterinary industry is in crisis, with access to affordable vet care becoming increasingly difficult. Professionals are leaving the industry and animals are going without care. We're committed to introducing Veticare, a world-first public healthcare system for animals, to make it easier for them to get the care they deserve.
Victoria is facing a veterinary care crisis. Professionals are leaving the industry and clinics are struggling to keep up with demand, or being forced to close. People are struggling to afford the costs of treatment and it’s now harder than ever to get an appointment or access specialist care – especially in an emergency.
Animals should never go without the care they need, and it shouldn’t be so difficult for people with companion animals to navigate a struggling system. Currently, many vets and vet nurses are under significant stress, leading to poor mental health outcomes and ultimately exit from the industry. Veterinary staff deserve respect and secure, sustainable jobs.
Currently, vets are expected to juggle fee-paying clients with the ‘good samaritan’ expectation to treat wildlife for free. This often results in native animals being triaged for longer than they should be – leaving them to suffer or be euthanised unnecessarily.
If we don’t fix this crisis, it is only going to worsen. That’s why we have a solution: Veticare.
Veticare is universal health care for animals. It’s modelled on Australia’s human healthcare system, Medicare.
Creating a public healthcare system for animals will improve the working environments of veterinarians and veterinary staff and it will also make veterinary care more affordable for people with companion animals.
Veticare introduces public veterinary clinics across Victoria, as well as providing an opportunity for rebates or bulk-billed appointments at private clinics.
Veticare provides free de-sexing of pet cats and dogs for low-income households. This will greatly improve the pressure on shelters and pounds over the next decade to deal with overbreeding.
Veticare incorporates a new wildlife model which will establish specialised wildlife hospitals across Victoria. This would remove the additional pressures of treating native animals free-of-cost from every clinic. Wildlife would receive the best treatment from experts with appropriate training to support their complex needs.
Veticare offers more opportunities for Victoria’s vet nurses. Following the ‘nurse practitioner’ model in human health Veticare upskills vet nurses so they can perform tasks like surgery preparation, routine check-ups and dental procedures. This provides our vet nurses with more job satisfaction and allows more time for veterinarians to focus on complex elements of animal care.
Our motion calling for the establishment of Veticare has already passed the Victorian Parliament at the end of 2022. Now we have important work to do with the government to develop and implement this world-first system.
- Make veterinary care affordable
- Build a universal healthcare system for animals
- Establish specialised wildlife hospitals
- Support vets and vet nurses