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He also pointed out the national shortage had worsened since the pandemic and can be attributed to the increase in pet ownership.
He said that pets and wildlife are currently not given the medical treatment they desperately need, telling the Herald Sun: “It is resulting in Victorians having to travel up to hours for vet care, or some even not receiving it at all.
"More and more emergency and after-hours clinics around the state are closing completely.
“This system will alleviate that stress by establishing publicly funded vet care for companion animals that features a bulk bill and scheduled fee system — exactly the same as our Medicare system.”
However, Mr Meddick also proposed that the new laws would better support vet nurses currently working overtime.
“This won’t just be a win for companion animals and wildlife – but for hardworking vets and vet nursing teams. It means that we can improve access, cost and availability of proper healthcare for animals,” he said.
“Everybody deserves to experience the joy and companionship of an animal – no matter where they live, or how much they earn."
He added that the state is in a position to set the ‘benchmark’ for animal protection and health care in the country.
Under the new potential scheme, Veticare would cover everything from minor care, yearly checkups, injections and more complex surgeries.
Australian Veterinary Association President Bronwyn Orr has welcomed the new system, but says more veterinarians need to be put in place to alleviate stress in the industry before it's implemented.
“It’s all fair and good to have subsidised veterinary care but you actually need to have the veterinarians in place to do that,” she said, according to The Guardian.
“There’s not been enough investment in the profession and it’s leading to some rural and regional places actually not having any vets at all.
“If you have subsidised vet care, it’s not much use if you can’t actually get in to see a vet.”
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