Australian veterinary workforce modelling

Veterinarians provide services essential to the nation, supporting animal, human and community wellbeing. It’s essential that the nation has the right number of vets to meet the needs of Australia’s animals and their owners, that those vets have the right skills and are the right places.

But unlike in most other professions, there has never been any effective national veterinary workforce planning to help us make policy decisions to ensure this happens.

In 2013, the AVA commissioned research to analyse available sources of data on the veterinary workforce, and to assess the way ahead to effective workforce planning for the profession. The research report emphasised that progress will not be possible without a detailed stock and flow study of the profession.

The Australian veterinary workforce modelling project provides Australia’s first major, long-term national projections for the veterinary workforce to inform the planning for our future veterinary workforce.

This report has been produced by independent and respected workforce planning experts, based on best available data. The tools and methodology are the same as those used by Health Workforce Australia to assess the human health workforce. The report will be used to inform essential co-ordinated, long-term reforms by government, the profession and higher education providers to secure a sustainable and affordable veterinary workforce capable of maintaining high quality veterinary care.

The projections contained in report show that unless we initiate change, Australia will experience a significant oversupply of veterinarians. Significant unemployment or underemployment is likely unless fewer veterinarians are trained or new demand for services is generated.

The most significant outcome of this project and its findings is evidence that reform and action is needed to ensure a sustainable, affordable veterinary workforce for the future. It is simply not tenable to continue with a business-as-usual approach.

Australian veterinary workforce modelling

 

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