A Choice magazine report on Vet fees has stirred up quite a debate, with Choice criticizing veterinary practices for inconsistent and sometimes excessive changes for services.
Countering that, one veterinarian wrote to the media giving reasons for the price differences between practices and setting out the problems the profession faces in trying to standardise fees, such as wide variations in overhead costs depending on the areas in which the practice is located.
Metropolitan practices obviously have to pay far higher rentals than similar practices in regional centres and rural areas. Also worth thinking about are the differences in the services offered by vets in the country. Vets servicing farming areas would have vastly different service offers from those in city and suburbs. Even within city areas, socio- economic factors affect demand for premises and consequently rent structure.
Clearly, there are always two sides to every story and in most instances generalisations can lead to confusion. I think anyone who has had a pet that was ill or injured values the availability of vet services. And most pet owners are aware that these services, unlike medical services, are unsubsidised by the Government and therefore the owner has to accept that they are going to pay the full professional fee.
We have always emphasised that before deciding to own a pet, people need to take on board the associated costs. Your pet is your responsibility and it deserves the very best care and attention. If this comes at a cost, you have to bear it.
An important point made by the veterinarian who responded to the critical article was that anyone concerned about veterinary costs should consider insuring their pet. The vet stated: “Is a highly supportive service offered by a number of providers and given the fact that we do accept high vet costs, it makes absolute sense to have your pet covered for the many situations to which they are exposed.”
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