When it comes to the high costs of veterinary services, how will those who care for the most vulnerable animals deal with this? In addition to donations in cash, food and medicines, so-called animal protectors and shelters usually have a support network that involves partner clinics and veterinarians. “Most veterinarians already know my work and we have built a good relationship in terms of costs and care for rescued or needy animals”, says Patruska Barreiro, from the Patruska Institute, a NGO that has 25 years of activism in Salvador.
“We have veterinary clinics and hospitals that support us and help both our animals and those in need. These partners I refer to more often for knowing the whole team and for having social actions”, he explains. Patruska questions the lack of a “SUS Animal” and says that health plans have a small network. “The few existing plans do not have a vast service network and animal SUS does not exist. It is up to the tutor to pay the costs”. The protector says that nothing causes more upheaval in tutors than the impression that there is always an excess of tests and procedures requested, especially in attendance on duty.
The protector Natália Vieira, one of the most active in the Camaçari region, says she also has the sensitivity of partner veterinarians. “Protector deals with great adversity and lack of resources. You cannot do all the protocols”. But, it is not always able to escape the problems. “I already went to the vet and his clinic did not have an x-ray. I had to go to another clinic where the vet wanted to make two or three plates, each R $ 120. But the veterinarian who requested said that in one of the positions he she would already be able to evaluate. Clearly she wanted to take advantage “.
In addition to being passionate about animals, Gabriela Ventura, 27, decided to study Veterinary Medicine precisely because of the wrenches she has spent with the animals she rescues. In one case, he caught six dogs that were suspected of parvovirus. Then a business student, he took three of them to a clinic in Pituba. He had few financial resources and asked the veterinarian to be sensible and recommend the essentials.
“She examined only one of the dogs, she didn’t even look at the other two. She gave me the prescription and recommended, in addition to parvovirus treatment, a vaccination protocol for all vaccines that a dog should take.” The costs for only one of the dogs would reach R $ 1,000. “I explained that I had no money to prevent other illnesses and I needed to stick to the suspicion of parvovirus. She was rude, gave me no guidance and just passed on the prescription.
Today a veterinary student, Gabriela does not question the applied protocol, but the lack of empathy and clarification. “Today I know that the veterinarian has a legal and ethical obligation to explain all the animal’s needs, but it is necessary to know how to act in a specific way in each case. It lacked wisdom to focus on the urgency of the cases”. Gabriela says that the doctor indicated that she even paid for rabies vaccines for the six dogs. “This was not urgent. And shortly afterwards, I discovered on my own that this vaccine is given free of charge at a health clinic. She was insensitive and senseless. There were three rescued dogs.
Public veterinary hospital. Will we?
The creation of a public veterinary hospital is seen by many as fundamental, including human health. Dogs and cats in neighborhoods without sanitation, for example, bring even more diseases to residents. Free spaying could decrease the reproduction of stray animals. Last year, the Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS) came to disclose that, in May 2020, the tender for the construction of pioneering equipment in Bahia would be launched. To the MAIL, the SMS advisory informed that the project was not delivered in May as expected due to the pandemic. But the expectation is that the unit will be operational later this year.
Many believe that a public veterinary hospital would require a high investment. One way out, instead of building a hospital, would be to increase tax incentives so that the clinics that already exist provide free assistance to people unable to pay. Below, find out about three different opinions about the possible creation of a public veterinary hospital:
“The public hospital must be part of a unique health policy, important for the balance of animal and human health. I find the installation quite healthy. But we have to remember that everything has its costs. In human medicine we have SUS, which finances public hospitals. At the veterinary clinic, we still need to find out where to get this funding from. ” (João Moreira, director of the Veterinary Hospital of Ufba)
“I think there has to be! The saddest thing is that you rescue an injured street animal and have nowhere to take it. There are also people who cannot afford an animal. People and public authorities have to understand which animal is a cost. Within the concept of unique health, the public veterinary hospital also means human health ”. (José Eduardo Ungar, president of the CRMV-BA Public Health Commission).
“I am against the public hospital because it can not only represent high costs for the public coffers, but it can mean the unemployment of many employees of the clinics. Do you know how much veterinary clinics employ? Instead of building a hospital, city governments and states could expand tax incentives for clinics to serve the needy public ”(Owner of Veterinary Clinic who preferred not to have his name disclosed)
UFBA and school clinics charge more affordable fees
If you find the prices charged at veterinary clinics well above your ability to pay, there are few alternatives to circumvent this in Salvador and Lauro de Freitas. In the absence of a public veterinary hospital, there are three units that charge fees with more accessible values: the Hospital da Escola de Veterinária da Ufba and the school clinics of Unifacs and Unime.
In the case of Ufba, the emergency consultation has a fee of R $ 85, while the outpatient consultation costs R $ 55. In the case of wild animals the fee is R $ 35. The values of the other procedures vary widely. The amount collected is managed by Fapex and guarantees the maintenance of research, teaching and extension activities.
The hospital offers specialties such as ophthalmology, dermatology, orthopedics, oncology and dentistry. Serves in the areas of medical clinic, surgical clinic and reproduction, for both small and large animals. In the pandemic, the hospital has followed a series of protocols and at the moment it only works by appointment.
Unifacs, which because of the pandemic has only attended by appointment, reported that it does not disclose the value of consultations and tests for ethical reasons. But just call the number just below this text. The unit makes about 1,000 visits per month, including clinical, surgical and exams for dogs, cats and other small animals. The clinic is a space for practical classes, research and extension activities, in addition to being an internship field for undergraduate students. It also offers elective consultation services, anesthesia, imaging tests (X-ray and ultrasound), vaccines, laboratory tests, surgeries and a day hospital.
Among veterinarians and students at the institution, the team has 30 people and serves the following specialties: general practice, dermatology, orthopedics and physiatry (physiotherapy) for dogs, cats, unconventional animals such as guinea pig and rabbit and wild animals such as macaws, snakes and parrots. Due to the pandemic, elective appointments are being made by appointment, in addition to urgent and emergency appointments. Students, teachers and employees have a 15% discount on the consultation.
Unime will reopen the veterinary clinic on Monday (19) after suspension of activities due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. With prior scheduling, to avoid agglomerations at the site, calls will be made from 8 am to 12 pm and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Since 2005, it offers services for small and large animals, in addition to wild animals.
Among the services available are medical clinic and surgical clinic consultations, laboratory and imaging exams, low, medium and high complexity surgical procedures, clinical and surgical care, in addition to vaccination. Emergency cases will not be dealt with. The average is 16 thousand calls per year.
The Large Animal Clinic is designed to care for horses, small and large ruminants. The clinic has six specialist veterinarians, twelve resident veterinarians, nine laboratory technicians and two administrative technicians. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the clinic is currently closed.
Veterinary Hospital of Ufba: Av. Adhemar de Barros, 500 – Ondina – Tel: 3283-6736. Operation: currently meets by appointment
Unifacs Veterinary Clinic: Av. Jorge Amado, 2005, Boca do Rio – Tel: 71 3232-2203. Operation: currently meets by appointment
Unime Veterinary Clinic: Av. Luiz Tarquinio Pontes, 600, Lauro de Freitas Center – Tel: 71 3378-8168. Operation: currently meets by appointment