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Backlog of appointments due to Okanagan shortage of veterinarians

The current shortage of veterinarians in the Okanagan has forced animal clinics to change the way they deliver their services. Veterinarians are so scarce that pet patients often have to wait months to get an appointment.

Over the past five years, the region has addressed a shortage of vets. Long working hours, demand and low numbers of veterinary students are contributing to the current shortage. The pandemic has also impacted the way veterinary clinics and hospitals operate.

Dr. Marco Venis of Okanagan Animal Hospital said, "The pandemic has definitely made things worse because everyone has pandemic puppies and kittens and the amount of work has increased." rice field.

"Furthermore, the pandemic measures are hitting veterinarians as well. They are losing staff as they routinely have to isolate the source of COVID-19."

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West Kelowna's Carrington Animal Hospital recently lost its full-time veterinarian, leaving him the only part-time veterinarian. They had to change their daily service and were forced to send their pets to another location.

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“We want to support all users, but we can't. We don't have resources on days when we don't have a vet. We try to empty it, but it fills up quickly, so it's difficult," said Hollyoaks practice manager at Carrington Animal Hospital.

Oakes says angry calls from pet owners are becoming more frequent. They tell clients they're doing their best to accommodate them, but they don't want that to be an excuse. If I had the option to have another vet here, I would," Oakes said.

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Fewer appointments means fewer vets. Clinics don't have many appointments for walk-ins, and in some locations he's already booked clients for October.

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"Too many clinics have waiting lists for regular appointments. Non-urgent appointments." In the case of , it can take several weeks before you can book.

"I know of clinics that have actually stopped accepting new clients. Of course, that's causing a lot of trouble for people desperately looking for pet help."

57} Veenis says BC veterinarians are working with the state government to create more educational opportunities. More veterinarians will join the workforce in the coming years if we can increase the number of seats available to students.

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