"Veterinary practices are first and foremost businesses" - Insulting and oh so wrong!
Yesterday, I received an email copy of a newsletter from something called "The Good Vet Guide" which contained a blog stating "Veterinary practices are first and foremost businesses". I felt both deeply insulted and saddened that my beloved profession had sunk so far as to be viewed in this way.
Coincidentally, on the same day, we were presented with the owner of a 7 month old puppy with a probable broken leg demanding we that euthanase this dog as they couldn't afford any treatment. The owner was extremely upset because they had been to another local practice where they had had their puppy vaccinations and been quoted over £500 for x-rays and initial stabilisation. It turns out that this puppy had had its leg broken last Friday (5 days ago) and had not received any treatment since.
So now, I am "first and foremost a business" presented with an owner who cannot afford treatment. Surely £60 for euthanasia is £60 in my bank account and I should take it? What other choice could I possibly have as a businessman first and foremost? There is no NHS for pets and treatment has to be paid for, doesn't it? I have 45 staff who don't work for free. I have insurances and business rates and bank charges, solicitors and accountancy fees to pay, to name but a few. None of them will offer to work for free for the sake of a 7 month old puppy.
Luckily for this little puppy, AlphaPet is NOT "first and foremost a business". We are first and foremost a team of highly skilled and qualified veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and veterinary receptionists who put our patient's interests first and foremost. Veterinary practice for us is a vocation. Necessarily, we are a business to allow us to continue to provide the care and treatment required for our patients but that is a secondary concern. The day the business side of our practice becomes first and foremost is the day that I will happily retire and go earn a small fortune as a solicitor or an accountant.
If you want to see what happens to our little puppy, check out our Facebook page over the next few days and weeks. One thing is for sure though - euthanasia is NOT an option if we can possibly help it.