AVA Survey in to unpaid work now open.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has launched a survey in collaboration with the University of Melbourne to identify the amount of unpaid work done by veterinarians. In 2003, “pro bono” veterinary services by privately owned veterinary practices were approximated at $30m, up from $17m in 1999. 

The anonymous survey has launched on the AVA website and forms part of a PhD carried out by Kristen Steele, an AVA Senior Advocacy Officer. The aim of the survey is to collect data to demonstrate and quantify the amount of public good and personal investment that veterinarians do that isn’t compensated. It comes on the back of recent calls from the industry for the Australian government to ease the financial burden on veterinary students to attract more candidates to the profession to help relieve the current shortage of vets, particularly in regional and rural areas. 

“Veterinarians are essential for the health and well-being of both animals and humans. I hope this allows us to demonstrate our important role in the community and assists us in gaining the support we need to be sustainable,” Steele said.

The AVA identifies some examples of unpaid work as including treatment of wildlife, stray and lost animals, discounted services, school talks, time spent volunteering on ethics committees, advisory boards, AVA committees or boards, biosecurity, veterinary or nurse student training in private facilities and responding in disaster situations.

It is hoped data collected will be invaluable in the AVA’s ongoing advocacy for the profession and lobbying of government for funding towards aspects of this unpaid work, and to provide recommendations, direct future research and advocate for the Australian veterinary profession to service the community more sustainably.


The survey can be accessed here. https://www.ava.com.au/news/veterinarians-what-dont-you-get-paid-for/

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