Vet call out charges

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Probably by now it would cost you £25,000 a year in fees (it was £15,000 plus back in 2005) then you have to pay to live so call it £30,000 a year. £150,000 plus 5 years of your life to be able to row the ship in chains instead of steer it?
It was ten or a dozen years ago that I was half considering it, I’d be too ‘mature’ now I reckon.

I see plenty of vets whose years in chains seem to have allowed them to steer their own ship later on. I’m steering my own ship now, but still wearing chains.
 
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Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Let’s just say that when the bill came, the vet had ‘bought’ the Berluddy sheep. All four.
Thats partly why with sheep its fairly hard to find specialist or well experienced vets these days on that subject, as when roughfly in the later eighties early nineties ish sheep economics curve went down .. less sheep were seen by a vet ..
. shrewd assessment by the shepherd/manager would mean dispatch was best commercial option sort of thing
Cattle a slightly different matter :cautious:

....and i guess small animals (pets) were and have been on an up ward paying curve as well....to compound the difference
 

An Gof

Member
Location
Cornwall
Probably by now it would cost you £25,000 a year in fees (it was £15,000 plus back in 2005) then you have to pay to live so call it £30,000 a year. £150,000 plus 5 years of your life to be able to row the ship in chains instead of steer it?
Looks like you’re not happy in your work from your comments on here.
 

MRT

Member
Looks like you’re not happy in your work from your comments on here.
I'm very happy - but I'm not vetting. Any farmers reading this thread should take serious note of the comments from those who have been there before encouraging their children to commit to it. It is not the profession you think it is. It may well change again and become something much better than it currently is but currently - no
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
I'm very happy - but I'm not vetting. Any farmers reading this thread should take serious note of the comments from those who have been there before encouraging their children to commit to it. It is not the profession you think it is. It may well change again and become something much better than it currently is but currently - no
pity, because if one had fully qualified , one potentially could be giving out free advice on the forum , like Bovine did, only maybe a bit less stridently.....:unsure:☺:ROFLMAO:
 
The reality is that the kind of call-out fees being discussed here are probably too low. The large animal side is becoming less and less attractive to new grads and a lot of practices can't make it stack up. I wouldn't want to be a farm vet in the wilds of the hills where you are surrounded by sheep and beef because ultimately there is little money to be made vetting for that kind of farm, you would need to cover a huge geographical area to make it pay. Dairy farms are where the bulk of their technical skill is valuable and in much demand. Other vets I know in other parts of the country to do small animal and horse work to make it worthwhile.

The Noel 'supervet effect' is drawing more young people toward the small animal side but in reality the majority of that work is very routine and you would make referrals to elsewhere for many serious procedures.

Call outs based on distance strike me as being a pain to work out, I'd sooner do a flat rate average fee for the area. Don't be surprised if the initial call out fee is stiff for less obvious reasons mind.

The cost of attending vet school is going to be around 50K just in tuition fees, that's before you have paid a single month's rent anywhere, fed yourself or put fuel in a car. Shall we have a forum quiz on what new grad farm vets are likely to be paid in salary for the first few years of their careers? And we wonder why so many of them get the 5-7 year itch and give it all up by the time they are 30 or so?

I've been out to farms in the dead of night with my wife to assist her and there is no way you would get me to do it. It's a different world altogether compared to working as a doctor and the learning curve for young people doing it is insane.
 

Doc

Member
The Vet profession is in disarray really. It’s lost it’s way over the last 15 years for several reasons which together have resulted in the dissatisfying situation of where it is now.
Financial concerns for both client and Vet are only part of the story.
I’m fortunate enough to have practiced for long enough (30 odd years) to have enjoyed the better times. I do no small animal work.
There are a surprising number of qualified practising and non practising Vets on here and I’ve seen plenty of excellent ‘free’ advice dished out. Whether it’s been recognised, or indeed taken, I have no idea.
I and my partners ‘sold’ to a corporate last year. They are by far the biggest employer of Farm Vets in GB. Their starting salary for new grads is £30k gross. You can usually expect a circa 2-3% pay rise annually ( though not this year).
 
I can sort of agree with the above. The profession has drastically changed from the situation decades ago. Back along, people owned a share in a practice and made good money. They didn't have a huge amount of competition and it was all based on relationships anyway, even if you did a pants job no one really noticed and the customer coughed up anyway as there wasn't much alternative. You went to practice X because you'd dealt with them for years, they knew your farm/pet and that was that. By the end of their tenure these people had made a mint and retired on a good sum thanks very much.

With the rise of the corporate model the profit is simply creamed off for shareholders and ultimately the above model won't work long term. Whether this is good or bad for the profession or large or the client it remains to be seen but new grads entering now would be well advised to take note of it because there are far easier ways of earning that kind of money if you have the nous to complete a veterinary degree.

No accident all the old money send their kids to be investment bankers now.
 
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I can sort of agree with the above. The profession has drastically changed from the situation decades ago. Back along, people owned a share in a practice and made good money. They didn't have a huge amount of competition and it was all based on relationships anyway, even if you did a pants job no one really noticed and the customer coughed up anyway as there wasn't much alternative. You went to practice X because you'd dealt with them for years, they knew your farm/pet and that was that. By the end of their tenure these people had made a mint and retired on a good sum thanks very much.

With the rise of the corporate model the profit is simply creamed off for shareholders and ultimately the above model won't work long term. Whether this is good or bad for the profession or large or the client it remains to be seen but new grads entering now would be well advised to take note of it because there are far easier ways of earning that kind of money if you have the nous to complete a veterinary degree.

No accident all the old money send their kids to be investment bankers now.
I strongly suspect that the corporates are the reason why wages went backwards. In my game (meat hygiene), there is no doubt that the large number of European vets doing the job has held the renumeration down.
 
I strongly suspect that the corporates are the reason why wages went backwards. In my game (meat hygiene), there is no doubt that the large number of European vets doing the job has held the renumeration down.
It is no accident that big companies are now seeking to take over the TB testing job now.

It's very much an American way of doing business. You just buy up all the competition in the marketplace until you effectively dominate it. I dare say the veterinary world and even doctors surgeries and the like would appear very attractive to this kind of investor as it is a captive audience and I know there has been resistance to American conglomerates getting involved with parts of the UK healthcare system but the coalition government allowed it to happen anyway.

Of course for many years big companies lobbied the EU for a variety of reasons, thankfully the UK has resisted any EU involvement in the NHS but we were a whiskers breadth away from agreeing to blanket EU drug and medical devices approvals at one time. After the PIP implant and mesh scandals it is a good job we did not.
 
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Doc

Member
Wages haven’t gone backwards really they just haven’t gone up much.
The meat hygiene stuff used to be an ‘add on’ to a clinicians day. My practice used to do it (we still do product export work) the abattoirs were looking to cut costs, so the whole thing became corporate with Elville and Jones.
It’s actually all quite complicated in its evolution and blaming one aspect, such as Corporate involvement is too simple.
In clinical practice, corporates have only been significant players in the last 6-8 years. They are a symptom not the cause.
Succession is a big problem and that is a mixture of partnership relationships, gender demographics, local competition, cost of equipment and facilities as well as poor returns to practice borrowing and also increasing student debt.
The stressors of the employed clinical Vet are again much more than financial - client expectations, hours, the change to shift working and a growing part time workforce, increasing specialisation, client choice, student selection, education direction, the change in communications and access to information ( good and bad) and I can go on.
The Veterinary press and members of all the various committees (RCVS, BVA etc) are in denial about it all. Rather than self examination they simply look to jump on any political band wagon.
Suicide and mental health issues in the Vet profession are truly shocking. Maybe there are too many elephants in the room to address that they all get overlooked.
In any case, I fear it’s all rather too late, the train of change has already left.
Apologies for the rant.
 

Sid

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
South Molton
Good point that - imagine if vets did an AA/RAC type system where you paid a fixed fee per year which covered you if you needed it. Same idea as insurance really I guess.
Vet practice down here tried that on a litreage basis

Dont know what it included. Vaccines etc?
 

Farmer Fin

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Dropping large animals to concentrate on the bigger profits of small animal knowing full well there is no coverage for many miles does seem to be about profit and not welfare does it not
No you are missing the point. They are dropping it because it’s not sustainable. They need enough work to employ enough vets to have a manageable out of hours rota. That normally means at least 4. That takes a fair amount of work and once you drop below that it becomes unsustainable, hence why a lot of smaller practices stop the farm work. I’ve seen plenty mixed practices where a vet will do small animals all day but is then expected to do farm animal emergencies on call. It generally ends in disaster for all involved.
 
No you are missing the point. They are dropping it because it’s not sustainable. They need enough work to employ enough vets to have a manageable out of hours rota. That normally means at least 4. That takes a fair amount of work and once you drop below that it becomes unsustainable, hence why a lot of smaller practices stop the farm work. I’ve seen plenty mixed practices where a vet will do small animals all day but is then expected to do farm animal emergencies on call. It generally ends in disaster for all involved.
Only solution for people who really want to continue any large animal work is to partner with other practices in the region but that can mean some extended driving times for a call out and clients won't stick a more than 1 hour wait.
 

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