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February 15, 2019

Technology Helps Tackle Australia's Veterinarian Shortage
Technology and innovation could be the answer to the record number of Australian veterinarians abandoning the industry, which is prompting fears there won’t be enough vets to take care of the nation’s pets.

A just-released Lincoln Institute survey found that nearly 90 per cent of veterinary business owners and managers reported unprecedented difficulty filling vacancies. Forty one (41) per cent waited longer than six months to fill positions and 18 per cent waited up to two years or more to find new vets to work in their clinics.

Adding to the concern is that demand is rising for Australia’s $4 billion vet industry, which is growing at around three per cent a year, according to an August 2018 IBIS World report*, thanks to higher pet insurance uptake, growing awareness of animal health issues, and the increasing availability of advanced surgical and diagnostic procedures for animals.

A working paper with recommendations is due in March as an industry steering group look into the issues but some parts of the industry are worried pet owners could struggle to find a vet if the situation isn’t addressed.

National mobile veterinarian booking service Pawssum – which utilises app-based technology to send vets to the homes of pet owners – believes it’s helping to address the vet shortage by attracting experienced vets back into the industry.

“As a separate Lincoln survey showed, vets have been leaving the industry in droves – and many more are planning to leave – primarily due to poor work conditions, low remuneration, long hours and stress,” said Pawssum CEO Dr Jon Berkowitz.

“However, there is some good news; our service is helping vets return to the job they love – treating animals – because they can sign up to work with us as a mobile vet and work as little or as much as they want.

“They can choose when they want to work, what type of work they want to do and they don’t have to worry about invoicing clients or marketing or providing their own insurance – we take care of it all, which is helping vets choose to come back into the industry.” 

Melbourne-based vet Dr Tim White is one of more than 130 vets in the Pawssum community, joining the platform last year after a decade in the industry.

“It was an easy choice to start with Pawssum; not only is it convenient for pet owners but it is convenient for vets,” said Dr White.

“I can choose when I’m available and what cases I see, allowing me the flexibility to balance my work and family life and I find the house visits great for the pets and the clients are usually more relaxed as well.” 

Dr Berkowitz said pet owners who in the past had to visit the surgery and wait, or pay a substantial call out fee, now have another option available. 

“Many people are too time-poor to sit in a vet clinic and also many dogs and cats are anxious about heading to the clinic, making at-home visits very much in demand. If the pet needs further tests or surgery, we can refer them to one of our partner clinics,” he said.

Pawssum now operates in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra and has begun branching further out into locations such as Bendigo.
For more details, please visit www.pawssum.com.au

https://www.ibisworld.com.au/industry-trends/market-research-reports/professional-scientific-technical-services/veterinary-services.html

February 12, 2019

Greencross Vets Introduces New Operating Model ...
Greencross Vets are excited to announce a number of updates to the service offering for 2019, allowing for increased flexibility and convenience for both animals and their owners to include Telemedicine, Mobile Vet Services, Team Based Consulting and Extended Hours. These new introductions form part of the commitment that Greencross holds, to ensure clients can access care for their pets where, when and how they want to. 

Using innovative technology, Telemedicine offers the customer ease and ensures that the pets health is the number one priority. Chief Veterinary Officer, Rachel Chay comments “This will provide an expanded level of care to our patients particularly those with chronic or ongoing medical conditions. It also gives peace of mind to our clients who wish to ensure their pet has the best level of care but find it challenging to visit us regularly in clinic.”
This first to market service is available to existing Greencross customers and allows for a less stressful experience for the animal rather than travelling to the vet; perfect for those in remote locations the consultations are conducted by a qualified Greencross Vet. 

Complementing the Telemedicine offering the Mobile vet service allows animals to be treated in a familiar environment with no travel involved. “Along with the other services being added this provides a gold standard veterinary care service in the convenience of your own home. For many pets, particularly cats, a simple trip to the vet is a very stressful event. 


In some cases, with this level of stress clients may delay or not seek veterinary assistance for fear of causing this stress to their beloved pets! Likewise, for some of our valuable clients it is difficult to come into our clinics. So again, it is all about providing convenient veterinary services to our clients and improving the care their pets receive” Chay said.

On the contrary to the at home services Greencross is leveraging individual’s specialities with Team based consulting; this offering is being rolled out to provide a collaborative approach to medicine and health care, whilst leveraging individual’s specialities to care for your pet whilst increasing the standard of care. With increased standards of care, communication and teamwork nurse’s involvement is also bought into practice. Rachel Chay says “Increasing the touchpoints of our entire team of veterinary professionals with the clients, strengthens the communication. It is a very efficient way of working without decreasing the time our clients have to talk through their pet’s health concerns”.

Finally, allowing for added flexibility and convenience extended Vet Hours co-located stores (Petbarn and Greencross vets) will align their hours to trade for the same amount of time, which will allow pet owners accessibility to the full range of services.

About Greencross Vets:

Greencross Vets are a local network of well-equipped veterinary practices across Australia. Although Greencross Vets is part of a national organisation all practices are run and managed by a local team of dedicated pet care professionals who are passionate about pets. For more information visit greencrossvets.com.au

1 comment

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