EDMONTON, Dec. 1, 2017 /CNW/ - The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) is calling on Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean to immediately withdraw amendments to the Veterinary Profession Act (VPA), which were drafted without the ABVMA's consultation and introduced this week in Bill 31.
The first of these amendments creates regulation requiring full disclosure of fees before administering treatments, with the exemption of emergencies. This merely replicates an existing bylaw already enforced by the ABVMA that upholds a universal requirement for healthcare providers to obtain informed consent — a vital part of which is fee disclosure — before proceeding with any procedures or treatments.
The second VPA amendment enables fee advertising for certain defined services, overruling existing ABVMA guidelines disallowing the practice. The intent is to protect the public and animals from the degradation of veterinary care resulting from aggressive marketing and pricing that is not compatible with the acceptable professional standards upheld by ABVMA regulation.
Furthermore, this amendment threatens the profession's ability to uphold excellence in care by shifting focus from strong client-veterinarian relationships built on trust and knowledge of patient history to an alarming commodification of a professional medical service that could negatively impact animal health and welfare. The amendment's vagueness also raises serious questions over the potential to degrade the quality of veterinary care in commercial livestock operations, creating potential risks to food safety.
"We are extremely concerned by the Government of Alberta's lack of consultation with us," said ABVMA Deputy Registrar and Complaints Director, Dr. Phil Buote. "As a regulatory body, the ABVMA's primary role is protecting the public interest and ensuring animal health and welfare by upholding the standards of veterinary care. The government's decision to introduce these amendments is not informed by the veterinary profession, and it's an intrusion and overreach that should concern the public and all self-regulating professions in the province."
The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association is the professional regulatory body responsible for the practice of veterinary medicine in the province, under the authority of the Veterinary Profession Act. The primary mandate of the association is to ensure the public is receiving quality veterinary service.
Media availability with Dr. Phil Buote will be held Friday, December 1, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the ABVMA offices, located at Building #3, Elm Business Park, 9452 51 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB.
SOURCE Alberta Veterinary Medical Association
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