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Update on the Closure of U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital.

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As a result of a four-week consultation period with staff and volunteers of U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital (U-Vet), the University of Melbourne confirmed changes yesterday regarding the future of the U-Vet.

The University has decided to cease operating U-Vet as of Saturday, 24 December 2022, after considering feedback received during consultation.

As a result of several ongoing operational challenges, the University was unable to continue operating U-Vet.

These include a reduced case load, restricted opening hours due to an inability to fill rosters, challenges in the attraction and retention of staff compounded by a shortage of veterinary staff in the market, and a significant fall in revenue over several years as net costs have more than doubled.

The University thanked all staff members at U-Vet for their ongoing commitment, care and professionalism towards their patients and broader community and said that the decision is in no way a reflection of the hard work and dedication of U-Vet staff.

The University will continue to support staff affected by this decision as it prepares to close U-Vet. Dedicated counselling services have been offered onsite at Werribee since the proposal was first announced in early November.

In order to ensure that staff are paid as usual over the Christmas and New Year holidays, redeployment and payout periods will commence in January 2023.

 

Future plans at Werribee

Adding to its extensive network across Australia, Greencross Pet Wellness Company will establish and operate a veterinary general practice clinic, as well as a 24-hour specialist and emergency hospital, at the facility from early 2023.

The University’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students will be provided clinical teaching and placement opportunities at Werribee as part of this agreement between the University and Greencross Pet Wellness Company.

Professor Maskell said: “University staff members will provide frontline clinical care for patients within the context of our clinical education, and a key component of their role will be ensuring the quality of clinical experience for our students, together with Greencross Pet Wellness Company staff.

“This agreement will benefit the University’s students who will be exposed to a broader range of clinical opportunities and local pet owners who will have access to a veterinary hospital with increased opening hours and more extensive services.”

After the final outcome of the consultation process, the University’s agreement with Greencross Pet Wellness Company was finalized.

Such ‘embedded distributed’ clinical teaching models are already in place in several other accredited veterinary schools around the world and is a recognised framework for the delivery of clinical teaching by veterinary accrediting bodies.

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