Veterinary practices in New Zealand initially experienced a dramatic drop in revenue associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic according to the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) President Dr Grant McCullough.
“The effect on veterinary practices has been quite variable across the country, with small animal practices experiencing anything from a 20% to 80% decrease, and equine practices most heavily hit to start with – initially seeing up to an 80% decrease, but this has recovered over subsequent weeks of the pandemic”, said Dr McCullough. Dr McCullough reported that one of the larger veterinary groups closed about half of their clinics and concentrated their staff in just a few clinics, whilst the closure of horse racing also initially impacted equine vets across New Zealand.
The New Zealand Veterinary Association responded quickly to unfolding events, “We were very proactive early on in providing support to the profession in a bunch of different ways, including running local Zoom conferences through our regional networks and employer groups, together with providing a range of wellbeing sessions including with Sue Crampton, and others webinars offering expertise and advice from an economist and a business planning specialist”, said Dr McCullough.
Dr McCullough is also the managing director of the Veterinary Hospital Group which has several veterinary clinics around Auckland, and he explained that personally, the experience was not quite what he expected, “Initially it was pretty full-on during those first four or five weeks, we thought we might be sitting back and things would be quiet however it was some of the busiest times we’ve ever had – both in my own clinics and at the NZVA. But it’s been good to be able to do stuff to help the profession and on the whole it went down well”.
For more information on the New Zealand Veterinary Association’s pandemic-related activities, visit nzva.org.nz.