Being on a low income shouldn’t mean your companion animal suffers. We have a cost-of-living crisis on our hands. And it isn’t just pets: injured wildlife are often not getting the care they need because animal rescuers can’t afford it.
Similarly, vets are often unable to provide high level care to all animals who pass through their doors, whether pets or wildlife, due to staff shortages, resourcing and financial constraints.
This crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with more people taking on a pet than ever before, coupled with vets choosing to leave the industry and seek out other opportunities. This has had the greatest impact on regional and rural areas, with a number of regional centres no longer having access to the veterinary care they need and the closest emergency vet clinic being located in metropolitan Sydney.
The mental and physical health benefits of living with a pet are widely recognised, yet often the ability to adopt one is restricted only to those who can afford it. We believe everyone should have the opportunity and privilege of the companionship of animals.
The introduction of Veticare
- To improve access, cost, and availability of proper health care for all pets and wildlife.
- To improve conditions in the veterinary sector, ensuring retention of both vets and nurses.
- To continue the training and promotion of veterinary nurses to take on complex duties including basic wildlife training, wildlife assessment and drug administration (based on the ‘nurse practitioner’ model in human medicine).
- To recognise the skills and experience in NSW’s wildlife and animal rescue sector and help to further professionalise and support their work.
How would it work?
- Establish government-funded public veterinary hospitals
- Implement a bulk-billing model for veterinary care across NSW, with priority given to concession card holders, pensioners and animal rescuers and carers (both pets and wildlife).
- Fund places that are proven to work, such as dedicated wildlife hospitals.
- Concession card holders who receive the benefit of Medicare receive parallel benefits for their pets through Veticare.
- The Veticare system particularly helps animal rescuers and carers, who are recognised for the contribution they make towards protecting animals and serving our wildlife.