As you may have seen in the media, the challenges facing the veterinary industry from COVID-19 are ongoing. As an essential service, Vetwest clinics have remained open through lockdowns and COVID restrictions. While at the same time, many people have realised the benefits of pet ownership, acquiring puppies and kittens, and rescuing pets in record numbers, all adding additional pressure to our hard-working team.
The workload of our healthcare team continues to be compounded by the increased demand and shortage of veterinary staff due to state and international border restrictions. These shortages are impacting the recruitment of much-needed veterinarians at Vetwest, nationally and globally. Despite these challenges, our dedicated team have been doing all they can to provide a high level of care for your pets.
As a result, you would have likely experienced longer lead times for appointments. Due to reduced capacity and increased demand, routine appointment timeframes for vaccinations, health checks, nail clips and more are being extended so we can ensure sick pets get the urgent care they need. We are only deferring appointments where it does not compromise the welfare of your pets and our high standards of care.
With a team giving it their all to care for your precious pets, it’s also imperative we care for them. Veterinary professionals deal with a variety of difficult decisions and situations every day, including pet euthanasia. People join the veterinary industry for their passion for helping animals and, as a result, can be susceptible to compassion fatigue, similar to other healthcare professions. The impact of this is evident in the veterinary industry, which has a suicide rate four times higher than the general public and twice that of any other healthcare profession.
So, we ask you to please show kindness, patience and respect when interacting with our staff. They are striving to do their best for you and your pets during a difficult period.
To allow our team to continue providing consistent care for your pets, we have unfortunately closed many Vetwest clinics on weekends. These closures are temporary whilst we continue to source additional veterinarians locally, nationally and internationally. Vetwest Cockburn, Midland and Whitfords remain open on weekends and public holidays. Please note weekend appointments book fast and may have longer lead times.
We thank you for your ongoing kindness and understanding. It goes a long way to help our team continue to help your special family members.
From your healthcare team at Vetwest