Vets must change according to need

28 April 2000




Vets must change according to need

CATTLE vets must identify clients needs and change their practices, finding ways to charge producers based on improving animal health.

BCVA president, Peter Orpin, told delegates that there were difficulties meeting clients needs because no one package would suit every farmer.

"Some want high health herds, using considerable amount of preventative medicine, while other producers will want lower vet and med costs."

Agricultures recession had caused producers to spend less on vet and med because they were cash poor, but that was only storing up problems for the future, he said.

Vets must meet a wide variety of needs with reduced income. To do that, he suggested vets looked at providing a choice of structures and services, which producers could look at and buy what they required.

By that, he meant vets should look at novel structures, such as health partnerships and loyalty bonuses for clients. "Estimate how much it costs to sort out a problem and develop an action plan to solve it. Progress of the problem can then be monitored and economic returns from livestock improvement calculated."

Producers who made a commitment for that type of scheme could be charged via a separate fee structure that was fair to both parties, he said. "What this demonstrates is a committed producer and vet working together to improve animal health.

"Most importantly vets have to deliver value, and that is not perceived value," he reiterated. "Vets must market their services better and emphasise value for money in future."


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