Emergency Services

                                                                             - FOR ALL PET OWNERS –

 

                                                          AFTER-HOURS VETERINARY SERVICES ARE

                                                           CHANGING IN PRINCE GEORGE EFFECTIVE

                                                                                         JULY 1ST.

Starting July 1, 2022, after-hours urgent veterinary services in Prince George will be changing due

to critical staffing shortages. This is an unfortunate circumstance which weighs heavily on the

members of every veterinary practice and team in our community. A group of veterinary clinics in

Prince George has been working together to provide urgent-care services. The After-Hours Urgent

Care Group members are:

 

            • Hart Family Veterinary Clinic                      • Prince George Veterinary Hospital

            • Ospika Animal Hospital                              • Murdoch Veterinary Clinic

            • College Heights Veterinary Clinic                 • Birchwood Veterinary Clinic

 

EFFECTIVE JULY 1ST, 2022 - NEW AFTER-HOURS PET EMERGENCY SERVICES WILL NOW BE:

 

• Weekdays to 10pm

• Weekends and Statutory Holidays 8am - 10pm

• Emergencies outside of regular vet hours and these after-hour emergency options, people will

need to connect with Vet Triage online OR go to an Emergency Facility (Kelowna, Vancouver,

Edmonton, Calgary).

 

Even though this group has been working together, Prince George does not have a true 24-hour

emergency facility. The closest ones are in Kelowna, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. The Prince

George After-Hours Urgent Care Group has been working together for many years to offer a solution

to emergencies: a shared after-hours option that often has a veterinarian working a full day at their

regular schedule, taking on the emergency role throughout the night with little to no sleep, and then

continuing with their daily hours the following day.

 

Throughout this past year the region has lost approximately 25% of their veterinary professionals,

this is compounded with the fact that before this year, we still did not have enough veterinarians to

service all of the pets in Prince George.

 

In today’s climate almost every industry is battling a shortfall of workers and this industry is no

exception. The numbers are now hitting a critical level and in order to continue to provide quality care

during the day, there is an immediate need to limit after hours availability.

 

All hospitals and clinics are working together to help one another and to help our community, but

burnout is still happening. Doctors and technicians are continually leaving the region, if not the

profession entirely. Burnout in this industry has been an ongoing problem and has hit our area with

force.

 

There are a few factors happening that are contributing to this critical level.

 

• A severe lack of doctors.

On top of BC’s need for more veterinarians, northern British Columbia has additional challenges

recruiting these professionals to our communities.

 

• Prince George is a hub for the north, but there is no Emergency Clinic here.

In addition to the immediate needs within Prince George, surrounding communities are also

struggling to support their call volumes and unfortunately this ends up pushing their patients into

our area. This adds more stress and strain on local veterinary teams. The clinics of Prince George are

not staffed or medically equipped to function as emergency 24-hour care facilities.

 

• The After-Hours Urgent Call system is often used inappropriately.

A high percentage of emergency calls are not true emergency cases, much like what has been

happening in the human ERs for many years. While many situations can be distressing to pet

owners, they are not so urgent that they need to be seen outside regular office hours.

 

What is happening to help deal with these issues.

Although changing the urgent-care after hours availability may appear like a step backwards, it

really is a solution that will help keep doctors healthy and working in our community.

All who participate in this After-Hours Urgent Care Group have invested tremendously in our

industry, pets, and clients.

 

There is no short-term fix to this shortfall of available doctors. The Prince George and BC Chamber of

Commerce, The Regional District, representatives from UNBC and local political representatives have

been engaged and are willing to help be a voice for our concerns.

 

Many clinics have started to use Vet Triage (www.vettriage.com) to help pet owners be seen by a

certified veterinarian through an online option. This helps sort out the life-threatening emergencies

from those that are stable enough to seek care during office hours the following day. This is an

attempt to take some emergency burden off the local veterinarians.

 

What we are asking of the public.

For understanding and compassion as we traverse this difficult time.

 

Reach out to your MLA and other government officials and ask them to develop plans to avert

further crisis measures becoming necessary.

  

 


Emergency Pet Care

Call 250-564-1315

Click for Emergency Pet Services

VET TRIAGE


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Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

OSPIKA ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed