Municipalities find it easier to recruit veterinarians
“Municipalities had a total of 61 vacancies for veterinarians in the area of animal welfare and disease control. By May 2014, ten of these had not been filled. The situation has improved since 2013. It looks as though official veterinary vacancies will finally be filled,” says Senior Adviser Sanna Hellström of the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira.
The shortage of veterinarians has been a subject of discussion for years. In part, the situation has improved because there are more veterinarians than before. For example, the supply of veterinarians was investigated when the Act on Veterinary Service was adopted in 2009. However, information had not previously been collected on the recruitment of veterinarians to municipalities.
Municipalities focus on basic services
Most municipal veterinary services are basic services that include basic examinations, routine treatments and preventive health care.
Municipalities are obliged to provide veterinary services for production animals. Municipalities must also offer basic care for pets if there are no private services in the municipality. Urgent veterinary care must be available for all pets.
Private veterinary clinics offer specialised veterinary services. When municipalities are planning services, they must take account of any private services offered in the area. The private service offering varies from one area to another.
“All municipalities in Southern Finland offer private services, with half having a plentiful private offering. In contrast, most municipalities in Lapland have no private services. In these areas, veterinary services consist entirely of municipal care,” says Sanna Hellström.
Municipalities can offer veterinary services or buy them in from private service providers. One in three municipalities use private services, typically small animal care and emergency clinics.
Senior Adviser Sanna Hellström, tel. +358 (0)50 5760471