COVID19 Open Letter to the Public – February 2022

February 23, 2022

NOVA SCOTIA VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Registrar’s Office

11 Memory Lane, Lower Sackville, NS    B4C 4H1

Phone: (902) 865-1876     Fax: (902) 865-2001

E-mail: nsvma@ns.sympatico.ca

 February 22, 2022

Open Letter to Nova Scotians re: Veterinary Medical Services during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association (NSVMA) is the regulator of Veterinary Medicine in Nova Scotia and is tasked with ensuring protection of the public interest.

The NSVMA is responsible for ensuring veterinary practices maintain standards of care, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nova Scotia has been challenged since March of 2020 due to the emergence of COVID-19. Nova Scotians have collectively met that challenge and continue to strive to do so in the interest of public health.

During the past 2 years, veterinary teams in Nova Scotia have faced difficulties in continuing to provide the necessary high level of service, and these veterinary teams have excelled while under immense stress.

Veterinary practices have had to face staff shortages, medical supply chain disruptions, and significant COVID related restrictions around the scope of practice and interaction with animal owners, while continuing to maintain emergency services and preventative care appointments.  Food animal veterinarians have continued to provide service to producers throughout rural Nova Scotia in order to maintain a stable and safe food supply for all Nova Scotians.

The NSVMA has been active in developing policy a reopening plan and disseminating information to allow veterinarians across the province to remain fully informed and engaged, while keeping veterinary practices open and continuing to serve the needs of the public.

The NSVMA and veterinary teams across Nova Scotia are aware of the stress many animal owners are facing and continue to work daily to achieve the best possible provision of care.

It is important that animal owners in Nova Scotia be patient and prepared, so your veterinary team can continue to provide the care you expect and deserve.  Stress is high during times of emergency or unexpected illness, and timeliness of care is important.  The best thing any animal owner can do to be prepared for the unexpected is to ensure that you have a veterinarian in advance of an emergency.  Resources for emergency care veterinary teams have been stretched these past two years, and it has been challenging.

Veterinary professionals are genuinely concerned for the well-being of their patients and continually strive to provide the best care possible.  The pet population is growing and is expected to continue to grow. Animal welfare for both pets and food production animals is a top priority. The work force shortage is a constant stressor, and the NSVMA is actively exploring ways to get past this crisis. Client patience and understanding is needed in this high stress time for the veterinary community to continue to provide services.

Veterinary teams appreciate the many words of encouragement and kind gestures from animal owners across Nova Scotia.

The NSVMA thanks the public for your willingness to be prepared, and we thank our veterinary teams for their professionalism and dedication.

On behalf of the NSVMA Council,

Dr. Jane Corkum

Registrar, Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association

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