Rural vets are being reminded not to accept more emergency calls than what they can handle.
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Rural vets are being reminded not to accept more emergency calls than what they can handle.

The Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) has written to vets highlighting aspects of the Code of Professional Conduct that it says are commonly misunderstood.

Vet recruiter Julie South, VetStaff says it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s good that the council has reminded vets what their obligations are under the Code of Conduct,” she told Rural News.

“Most vets want to help every patient that crosses their paths but this isn’t possible, which means the vets sometimes beat themselves up for failing their profession, which isn’t good for their mindset.”

VCNZ chief executive and Registrar Iain McLachlan says in less stressful times, a lot of vets have taken the approach that they respond to any emergency call but under the Code they are only required to respond to calls from their own clients.

Non-clients can be referred to their normal vet,” McLachlan says. “It can be a hard decision to make, but when workloads are high, it is important that people understand their obligations and the load is shared.

“The public also needs to be aware that any changes they see are designed to make veterinary care safer and more sustainable for everyone, particularly their animals.”

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