I have a thing to ponder. It’s a big thing.
I was speaking to a client today who has an old dog who has been my patient for the last 10 years. This dog has had a myriad of health issues and the client was reflecting on how lucky he is that he’s got the means to take care of all of her veterinary needs.
He wondered out loud what people who aren’t so financially fortunate do to take care of their pets?
Frankly, I’m not sure.
Those of you who are clients know that we are not a low-cost animal hospital.
There are basically two business models for vet med (in my limited business experience). The high cost, low volume practice, and the low-cost, high volume practice.
The vet has to make a living one way or another, either he sees hundreds of patients a day on the cheap, or he charges more so he can spend more time with fewer patients.
Dr. Sharp has chosen the higher cost, lower volume philosophy. We love that we can spend the necessary time with our patients to get to know them, thoughtfully work up cases, and develop relationships with our clients.
What happens to the people who can’t even afford the low-cost places?
SPCA sees healthy pets at their facilities, but what about the sick ones?
American Animal Hospital Association has a fund for people who have low incomes to help cover vet bills in an emergency ($500 max for something like a fracture, etc.) that can provide a little help.
There isn’t a Parkland for pets (Parkland is the county hospital in Dallas that is a “safety net hospital” that takes care of needy patients regardless of insurance or ability to pay.)
Is there a need for something like this for pets?
Will people abuse it?
Are pets a luxury or a necessity?
These are some of the things I’m mulling over.
Now, onto my next appointment…will have to mull later 😉