Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vet continuing education and pet health

cat sleeps on pet health book
Michael the cat finds another use for veterinary textbooks.
The veterinary degree is an information-loaded program, but committing to being a veterinarian entails a commitment to lifelong learning - and in fact continuing education is mandated in our registration. But its not just a hoop we jump through for registration - as veterinarians we should strive to be as current and informed as we possibly can, as the nature of advances in healthcare means that we will never attain a state of complete knowledge.

Hence the Government's announcement that from 1 July 2014, self education expenses will be capped at $2000 is surprising and disappointing. To give some indication, $2000 barely covers course registration, let alone expenses (accommodation etc). And training saves lives!

This cap applies to all - not just veterinarians. However there has been widespread criticism of the new policy, as it increases the financial burden on those who want to do the right thing and stay current (and trust me, this veterinarian - and none I know - is NOT spending big on fancy conferences in Bermuda).

The Treasury has released a discussion paper which you can read here.

The Australian Veterinary Association is one group which is lobbying the Government on behalf of veterinarians, and is seeking information from members about the amount of money spent on continuing veterinary education. If you are an AVA member you should receive an email asking you to complete the survey - it takes less than five minutes.

If you would like to sign a petition, you can do so using this link here. The AVA is encouraging veterinarians (and others affected by the cap) to contact their local member to voice concerns. 

You can also make a submission after reading the discussion paper. Submissions close on Friday, July 12.