Technology and innovation such as that driving home vet service Pawssum, 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 recent Lincoln Institute survey found that nearly 90 per cent of veterinary business owners and managers reported unprecedented difficulty filling vacancies. Forty one 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.
National mobile veterinarian booking service Pawssum, which utilises app-based technology to send vets to the homes of pet owners, believes it is 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,” Pawssum CEO Dr Jon Berkowitz said.
“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.”