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Vet Shortage Not Stopping Urgent Patient Care

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) is reassuring animal owners that veterinary clinics are continuing to see unwell animals, despite the current vet shortage and postponement of some routine appointments.

Recent publicity about the effect of the veterinary shortage has stirred fears that animals may not receive care, but NZVA Chief Executive Kevin Bryant says affected clinics are triaging their patients so that those needing urgent care are seen first.

"The veterinary shortage is certainly putting a strain on many clinics, but they are managing their cases, so that when services are tight, patients who need to be seen quickly are receiving the attention they need. This means that sometimes routine appointments are being postponed," he says.

"If your animal or pet needs urgent attention, please contact your vet. If the closest clinic to you isn’t open, you should contact another clinic, or go to an afterhours centre."

New Zealand has been experiencing a serious shortage of veterinarians since COVID-19 closed New Zealand’s borders. While more veterinarians are hoped to arrive in the country soon, the Omicron outbreak and staff sickness are currently adding to staffing issues.

"These are trying times, but we know New Zealand’s veterinarians are doing their very best and always have the welfare and best interests of animals at heart," Bryant says.

Animal owners can find vets in their area by searching the NZVA veterinary register


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