THE COSTS OF VETERINARY CARE
We understand that veterinary fees can sometimes seem very expensive, and we often hear the comment that it’s cheaper to see your doctor than to go to the vet. There are a number of reasons for this. The cost of seeing you local GP or a specialist usually involves just the consultation fee. Other services such as radiology, diagnostic pathology, surgery and medications are billed through separate practices. In the case of veterinary fees, everything is done under the one roof, so the total bill can sometimes seem quite high. The overheads involved in establishing and maintaining a veterinary practice are enormous: real estate, hospital facilities, veterinary and nursing staff, advanced equipment and drug stocks are all responsible for an onerous financial burden on the practice. Importantly, there is no Medicare, bulk billing, or Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for pets. We are fortunate in Australia to have become accustomed to an entitlement to universal health care for people at no or minimal cost. Consequently we tend to underestimate the true cost of the health care services we receive. It would be nice if the Federal Government were to offer financial support for pet health care, but we’re not expecting that to happen in any of our lifetimes! Traditionally, vets have very heavily subsidised some services, such as desexing. The cost to the client of a spey or a castration has always been a fraction of the actual cost to the practice. We view this as a public service that the profession offers, to help reduce the population of unwanted strays. Over the years at Gladesville we have progressively introduced more advanced techniques and methods to the basic desexing operation. These include the most advanced anaesthetic drugs, multiple injections of narcotic analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs for pain control, advanced suture materials, intravenous fluid therapy, and specialised equipment to monitor respiration, heart rate and blood pressure during the operation. We have dedicated nursing staff who are trained to closely monitor each anaesthetised animal, from the time that the pre-med is administered, all the way through the operation, and up to the point of complete recovery. We have introduced all of these measures with no change to our pricing policy, so the loss we now sustain is very substantial; however we long ago made the decision that we would at all times offer the very best, cutting edge professional service, with no compromise to patient care made on the basis of cost. At GVH we also provide care on a pro bono basis to strays and wildlife. These animals receive the same standard of treatment that we offer to all our patients, with no compromise on quality of care. The provision of these services represents a significant financial loss. In addition, we provide care to service animals such as guide dogs, assistance dogs and Delta Society dogs at substantially reduced fees.
GVH FEES POLICY• We endeavour to minimise our fees as much as possible, without compromising the quality of care we offer to our patients.• We are happy to provide an estimate of costs for any procedure prior to it being undertaken, and encourage you to discuss the costs with one of our vets.• If your pet needs to be hospitalised for any period, we are happy to keep you updated of the progressive account on a daily basis.• We offer a 10% discount to pensioners for professional fees on presentation of a current pensioner card; this discount does not apply to over-the-counter sales, and applies only for accounts which are paid in full at the time of service provision.• We accept payment by cash, cheque, EFTPOS and all major credit cards.• We encourage our clients to investigate the options available for pet health insurance, which can very substantially reduce the financial burden on pet owners. You can find more information regarding pet health insurance in our Information Brochures under the title Pet Insurance• We are unable to provide credit facilities directly, however we are able to facilitate arrangements between our clients and the organisation GE Care Credit. Please ask our reception staff for details.