The veterinary community in Creuse. A present subject, quite a few options for enchancment

For the 23rde For the 12th time, the veterinarians working in Creuse accepted the invitation of Philippe Monteil, President of GDS Creuse, and Nicolas Athanassiadis, President of the Veterinary Technical Group 23. .

The Veterinary Network, a national matter…

Jean-Claude Colombo, representative of the Regional Council of the Order of Veterinarians of New Aquitaine (CROV NA), presented the assessment elements of the veterinary network in France and in our department. In fact, the problem goes far beyond the borders of our territory and mainly affects the livestock sector. More than 1,000 veterinarians are registered in France every year (half of them of foreign origin), but this is not enough to meet the needs due to retirements and the increase in overall activity essentially linked to the exercise of pets. More than 500 veterinarians would be missing every year. The expectations of young veterinarians have also evolved, with the desire for a good work-life balance, and more than half of veterinarians leaving private practice are under the age of 45.

… with special features for Creuse

Our department suffers from well-known disadvantages common to all professions: poor rural image, geographic isolation, difficult access to certain services… For the veterinary profession, we have a net negative demographic balance and registered veterinarians have an average age well above the national average, indicating that the worst is yet to come as these practitioners retire. The tensions in the breeding world and the aging of breeders are also not a favorable factor for hiring new colleagues. We see the establishment of veterinary practice chains that buy up the structures. Their ambition remains to maintain a rural activity in the structures, but it is clear that they face the same recruitment difficulties.

Corrèze, a forerunner of specific trend reversal measures…

David Quint, Vice President of the National Union of Freelance Veterinarians (SNVEL), then presented the measures implemented in Corrèze. Faced with the same problem, in 2021 the Departmental Council of Corrèze adopted financial measures that allowed students of veterinary schools to discover exercises involving farm animals, as well as aid for the installation and modernization of structures. Since the continuity and continuity of care is regularly cited as the most important limitation of the veterinary profession, a telephone control center has been set up, the SAVU 19. Outside the opening hours of the practices, people who wish to contact their veterinarian are provided with a telephone service that takes the request into account, assesses the urgency and, if necessary, refers to the on-call veterinarian. This device, copied from what exists in humans, began in the fall of 2022 and its development deserves to be monitored.

… the Creuse departmental council, which is also mobilizing …

Bertrand Labar, representing the departmental council, presented the “Plan Vetos 23” (see box). Since September 2022, financial support has been offered to veterinary medicine students to facilitate their internship in Creuse veterinary practices with rural activity (travel, accommodation). A student grant of €800 per month for the last two years of school may also be granted to young veterinarians who commit to practicing at Creuse for at least 5 years. We must applaud this initiative from our departmental council, the market for young veterinarians is expected to become increasingly competitive, these actions will allow to attract young people with a profile that matches our expectations.

… and likely future regional actions

Ghislain Adousseau, Director of GDS 79, presented the first elements of the European Partnership for Innovation (PEI-AGRI). These are funds used at regional level to support actions related to the world of agriculture, including the Veterinary Network. For the emergence phase, the first phase of this PEI, areas have been selected, the conclusions of which are expected by the end of 2023. For Poitou-Charentes, several actions have been identified around 3 axes: strengthening the relationship between veterinarians and breeders, thinking about a new organization of veterinary structures and about the methods of recruiting young veterinarians. From 2024, the selected measures in the operational phase are expected to be used at regional level. At the same time, the regional council is already supporting students with supervised internships and has an extensive budget for the creation of a 6the Veterinary school in Limoges. The aim is to have a pool of young practitioners from the area or who know it and are likely to stay there. Finally, funding measures for investments and equipment for rural animal practices are planned.

Plan Vetoes 23 (CD 23)

La Creuse is one of the 3 departments (with Corrèze and Isère) with decided to allocate financial resources to promote professions in rural practice and to attract young veterinarians. The help of the faculty council through the “Plan Vetos 23” takes place on 2 axes, a contribution to the financing of student internships in the veterinary practices of the faculty (travel and accommodation) and a scholarship offer during the last 2 school years in exchange for the obligation to have at least 5 years to practice in Creuse. You can find all the details on the website, “Veterinarians” section.

Positive feedback from the attending veterinarians

At the end of these presentations, a round table was organized where everyone could express themselves. It turns out that companies that offer the best working conditions, especially alternating working days and rest periods, are successful in recruiting. The proposed financial measures at departmental or regional level were unanimously welcomed and should facilitate the arrival of trainees who are likely to remain in our area. It remains to distribute them widely to French and foreign veterinary schools. Even if the horizons of the Limoges veterinary school may seem far away compared to the urgency of the situation, it remains a commendable project to support. Finally, the request was made to organize an annual meeting between the young colleagues of the department, GDS Creuse kept the idea and will take care of the organization.

An exchange-rich day that brings hope in the medium term

If the veterinary network on the Creuse is expected to deteriorate in the coming years, we hope that the collective mobilization through the measures implemented will improve the situation. At the same time, we remain concerned about the evolution of livestock farming, because when it’s clear that breeders need veterinarians on their side, reciprocity is just as important. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

dr Boris BOUBET – GDS Creuse – Dr. Nicolas ATHANASSIADIS – GTV 23

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