Are vets too expensive?
Is the cost of veterinary services hurting cats? Maggie Sharp thinks they are or at least she did think that. I know that people resist going to the vet with their sick cat until perhaps it is too late. Some cat caretakers tend to find alternative ways of dealing with a sick cat. This does not mean that they are necessarily bad cat caretakers. It might mean that they are bad or it might mean they are broke. A lot of people have home remedies and they wait and see.
I wonder how many cats die of a curable disease because the owners won’t go to the veterinarian for a specific illness or for a vaccination? There are no figures on this because no one is counting. There may be a mass slaughter going on out there that is equivalent to the slaughter of cats and cat shelters (2m per year and more at USA cat shelters).
From a cat health point of view, vets are too expensive based on the submissions on the cat health page. From a purely commercial point of view and the point of view of the veterinarian, vets are not too expensive.
The vet has to meet all his or her overheads and pay himself a decent wage. I am sure vets think they deserve a decent wage at the top end of all salaries as their training is long and the responsibilities and overheads are high.
The answer is pet insurance but pet insurance is just a way of spreading the risk while putting money into the pocket of big business at the same time. One big advantage of pet insurance is that cat caretakers will go to the vet at the first opportunity and even serious problems with low expectations of success and a poor prognosis get treated. Pet insurance is good for the cat because vets know they will get paid and they might charge at the maximum rate. Insurance claims are probably their major source of income.
There should be a state run veterinary service for people on low income who can prove that they are on low income or state benefits when they use the service. It would be a limited service and a public service to fill that gap which is people who cannot afford private veterinary service (which is all of them) and who keep cats and pets. Existing vets should participate or could elect to participate. In the UK this might not be practical as there are many people on some form of benefits (welfare in the USA). Does the USA run such a service already?
Below is a very short questionnaire if you would like to put on record your views as to whether vets are too expensive.
See results (started 18 Nov 2011)