How millions of Aussies could soon get FREE ‘Medicare for PETS’ as experts warn the industry is in ‘crisis’ and animals are suffering
- Victorian MP Andy Meddick wants the state to introduce a ‘Veticare’ scheme
- Veticare would allow all pet owners access free or low-cost animal healthcare
- New system would be open to all Victorian pet owners and cost an annual fee
- Mr Meddick said the plan will benefit pet owners and animal healthcare staff
Vets are calling for the government to introduce a ‘Veticare’ system that would allow pet owners to access free animal healthcare.
Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick announced he will present the Medicare-style vet scheme to the Andrews Government on Tuesday in response to Victoria’s animal healthcare shortage.
Mr Meddick said the state’s current vet ‘crisis’ has been fueled by increased pet ownership during the Covid pandemic coupled with professionals leaving the industry due to ‘financial and emotional stress’.
Under his proposed plan to help pet owners and their furry friends, Victorians would be able to access free or low-cost vet services at public clinics using a bulk-billing system.
Victorian pet owners could soon have access to free or low-cost animal healthcare under a new ‘Veticare’ Medicare-style bulk-billing scheme
‘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,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘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.’
There are currently no public-owned vet clinics in Victoria.
‘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,’ Mr Meddick said.
‘Everybody deserves to experience the joy and companionship of an animal – no matter where they live, or how much they earn.
Animal Justice Party MP Andy Meddick (above) said he will present the new vet scheme to the Andrews Government on Tuesday
The Veticare system would be open to all Victorian pet owners and only require participants to pay an annual fee
‘Victoria has the opportunity to set the benchmark for the best model of animal protection in the country, and be the first to implement a public healthcare system for animals.’
Domestic animal owners would be required to pay an annual fee under the proposed Veticare scheme which would cover all of their pet’s needs from regular check-ups to surgery.
Depending on the individual owner’s financial situation, they may be required to pay a Medicare-style gap fee.
Concession, pensioners and healthcare cardholders under the plan would have the entire cost of their pet’s medical bills covered.
Animal rescuers and carers covered by Veticare may also receive special recognition for their services and be excused from paying the annual fee.
‘Vets are often under stress because they have to attend to wildlife and use resources at their clinics they are not reimbursed for, we want to make sure they get that reimbursement,’ Mr Meddick told ABC.
Pets covered by Veticare would be provided free or low-cost medical treatment – including operations and injections – at public vet clinics