ECEC worker shortage impact other fields, inquiry hears
The Sector > Jobs News > ECEC crisis contributing to challenges veterinarians face, inquiry hears

ECEC crisis contributing to challenges veterinarians face, inquiry hears

by Freya Lucas

December 18, 2023

The challenges of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce shortages recently played out at a New South Wales inquiry into the challenges of the veterinary profession. 


Regional veterinarian Jo Hoad appeared before the inquiry saying that a lack of ECEC in her community was forcing experienced veterinary professionals to move from the area, exacerbating the challenges faced by those who remain. 


Dr Hoad, who shared her experiences with the ABC, said she has been the only on call vet for the last 12 months at Uralla Veterinary Clinic, where she is both the director and the owner. 


She told the inquiry the pressures being placed on her were typical across the industry, and that they appeared to get worse the further away from urban centres a clinic was.


Veterinary clinics in Inverell and Uralla were already down on staff on the day of the inquiry because staff had no access to ECEC. 


One of Dr Hoad’s associates hadn’t been able to work for the past 12 months because of the lack of ECEC options.


“There’s waiting lists of 200 to 300 kids in Armidale at the moment,” she said.


“Even human emergency doctors can’t get childcare and are thinking of leaving the area.”


Dr Hoad called for many changes in response to the crisis she sees in her sector, including broadening the acceptance criteria for potential veterinary students, and incentives to keep international students in regional areas for the medium to long term after graduation. 


To read the original coverage of this story please see here

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