The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) has raised the alarm over the decrease in the number of veterinary professionals in South Africa.
They say only about 150 students qualify every year from the University of Pretoria’s Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute. This is the only institution in the country that offers a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.
The Association’s managing director Gert Steyn says over 60% of positions that are advertised are still vacant after 12 months.
Steyn says it is imperative to get veterinary professionals back on the critical skills list.
“In terms of the career opportunities, we saw from a survey that we did amongst Vets in South Africa, there are only around 3500 registered Vets. That doesn’t mean they are all in South Africa, some of them practice overseas. We had 720 respondents to this questionnaire. Practices that are advertising for positions, even in urban areas 47% of those posts are still vacant after a year. In rural areas, it gets more difficult, 67% of posts are still vacant a year after being advertised,” says Steyn.
Efforts to address severe shortage of veterinarians and para veterinarian professionals: