“The veterinary sector has been transforming, with substantial investments in clinic networks, advances in treatment options and customer service – but the regulatory regime and government approach have simply not kept pace,” says Duncan Phillips, IVC Evidensia’s CEO for the UK and Ireland.
He recently made three requests for the UK Government:
• to encourage overseas vets and specifically the return of EU vets;
• to increase funding for UK university veterinary courses;
• for the regulatory framework to be updated to enable veterinary nurses to expand their roles.
“We are asking government to help remove some of the barriers to transformative change,” he said. “The government announced on 30th January its intent to introduce tougher migration regulation, including removing the occupation shortage discount. If enacted, this will make recruiting overseas vets significantly more difficult and more expensive.”
Mr Phillips also called on the government to increase funding for veterinary courses, stating that “more young people from diverse backgrounds pursuing exciting and rewarding veterinary careers is vital to addressing the shortages”.
On his third request, he said that nurses could be fulfilling a wider scope of clinical tasks and this would mirror significant improvements in holistic care delivery in human healthcare, driven and facilitated by nurses.
He added: “We need the government to play its part in shaping the law, and providing more support, to help address the challenges faced by a vital industry that makes such a positive difference for animal welfare, human health and the UK as a whole.”