Navigation Links
AVMA Testifies at Senate Hearing on GAO Veterinary Shortage Report
Date:2/26/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The chief executive of the nation's largest veterinary association appeared before a Senate subcommittee today, addressing an alarming new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that details a dangerous shortage of veterinarians available to fill critical positions in the federal government.

Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Federal Workforce Subcommittee that the federal veterinary shortage described in the GAO report could have profound effects on animal and public health.

The GAO report, "Veterinarian Workforce Actions Are Needed to Ensure Sufficient Capacity for Protecting Public Health," depicts a grave scenario of federal agencies that face a lack of current and future veterinarians to fill critical positions. For example, the report states that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has an on-the-job vacancy rate of up to 35 percent, and the agency's Agriculture Research Service has a 12 percent shortage of mission-critical veterinarians. According to the report, 27 percent of veterinarians employed by the U.S. Army, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA are eligible to retire within three years.

Should a catastrophic event occur, such as the introduction of a disease devastating to the food animal population, the GAO determined that workforce shortages could stress federal agencies' response.

"It is alarming to see in black-and-white how ill-prepared our nation appears to be in the event of a major animal disease outbreak, or worse, a pandemic," Dr. DeHaven told the subcommittee. "Equally disconcerting is the lack of an integrated approach for assessing the current and future needs of the veterinary workforce by many federal agencies that rely on veterinarians to fill critically important public health, food safety and animal health roles."

Dr. DeHaven told the subcommittee that the federal veterinary shortage has multiple causes. Specifically, he pointed to soaring veterinary student debt, noncompetitive federal salaries, limited ability to increase the number of veterinarians graduating from veterinary schools, and a demographic shift of students away from the rural farm settings that historically produced many food animal veterinarians as reasons for a declining applicant pool.

To address the critical shortage of federal veterinarians, the AVMA has sought legislation to provide increased funding to expand capacity at the nation's 28 veterinary colleges. The AVMA is also working with Congress to change the compensation for federal veterinarians so it is on par with other federal health professionals, and to reduce student debt through loan repayment programs.

The National Veterinary Medical Service Act (NVMSA), which exchanges student loan debt relief for graduates who commit to serving in the field of food supply veterinary medicine, was signed into law by Congress in 2003, but no benefits have been realized due to limitations in funding and delays in implementation.

"Our concerns about NVMSA are echoed in the GAO report, which indicates that officials from the USDA believe the money allocated to the program thus far is insufficient and would have minimal impact on the shortage," Dr. DeHaven said.

With a long history of working with Congress and federal agencies to address the veterinary shortage, the AVMA, according to Dr. DeHaven, remains dedicated to pre-empting challenges to public health. "I am confident that by working together, we can address these challenges, welcome more bright minds into the veterinary profession and provide our citizens the level of food safety and security they deserve and expect," he said.

The AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org for more information.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. National Patient Advocate Foundation Founder Testifies Before U.S. Senate Health Committee on Methods to Improve Healthcare Quality and Patient Outcomes
2. National Coalition for Quality Colorectal Cancer Screening and Care Testifies Before FDA Advisory Panel on Fospropofol Labeling:
3. Personal Care Products Council CEO & President Pamela G. Bailey Testifies on FDA Cosmetic Regulation Before U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
4. FasterCures President Greg Simon Testifies to U.S. Senate HELP Committee on Cancer Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century
5. Pennsylvania Pharmacy Carve-out Poses Risks for Commonwealths Neediest Citizens and Taxpayers, National Organization Testifies
6. Children of New Bedford Immigrant Raids Are Victims of Terrorism, Testifies Dr. Laria Today
7. AARP Testifies in Favor of Bulk Buying and Rx Card Proposals in Executive Budget Proposal
8. NCPA Testifies Before California Board of Pharmacy on E-Pedigree
9. Medicare Bidding for Durable Medical Equipment Will Harm Small Businesses and Seniors Access to Care, American Association for Homecare Testifies
10. Greenway Medical Technologies Executive Testifies Before Congress
11. Biomoda President Testifies Before New Mexico Legislature Supporting Clinical Funding for Early Lung Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I have gout, and I wanted ... family recipe, which is meant to relieve gout and pain caused by varicose veins. ... energy boost every time. It relieved what VA doctors called the worst sinusitis case ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The ... Hotel in New York, NY, on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name Medical ... the annual event, which raised over $1 million - the largest event in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Florida Hospital ... and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the leading authority in hyperbaric medicine. This accreditation ... a few hospitals and facilities have earned this distinction. This is the second ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Mirixa Corporation , ... and other pharmacist-delivered patient care services, has announced the promotions of Karen Litsinger ... vice president of sales. , Litsinger joined Mirixa in 2008 after serving ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... SunView Software aims to ... that are both engaging and easy to use. Coming off the heels of ... revealed today its plans to roll out new AI-powered self-service enhancements to help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... Market growth ... models in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and technological advancements ... funding. Emerging markets and growing research activities in toxicology and ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... -- RxWiki Inc., a digital health company that powers the ... of pharmacies through its Digital Pharmacist SaaS platform, today ... on Fire" Award in the Health and Life Sciences ... award as one of Austin,s fastest growing companies," said ... "Our platform gives independent retail pharmacies the digital tools ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Dec. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... with Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ... program targeting ,LpxC, for the treatment of bacterial ... LpxC has been recognized as an attractive antibacterial ... however, a lack of suitable chemical starting points ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: