The cost of caring

Google Maps location for Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre

Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston
VIC 3199

Phone:
03 5971 4888
Fax:
03 5971 4887

Being a vet is the most rewarding job; nothing beats the feeling of reuniting a family with a pet who has recovered from a life-threatening problem. And we're lucky, because it's something that we get to do quite a lot.

 

In general practice (ie a regular high street vet, rather than a specialist centre) we get to know families and their pets over months and years. Sometimes we care for a dog or a cat from their first vaccination through to their very last day, although we continue to care for the family after that. We can treat successive generations of pets, and the pets of successive generations. We see the puppy or kitten that is the trial run before having children, and we see those same pets grow old as the children grow up.

I've always viewed it as a great honour to be invited into a family's life, to be trusted with the care of a family member - it's one of the reasons that I love being a vet.

 

Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre has always been a practice with a family feel, yet still held tightly to our goal of "exceptional patient care". What does exceptional patient care mean? It means that we will always be thorough and we will always do our very best for you and your pet. We will never cut corners, and we'll always offer the best treatment that we can. Caring means that we won't ever short-change you and your pets because the next step seems too hard. We will keep trying to fix them until you ask us to stop, and we will never judge you when you do ask us to.

Our core values can be summed up in 6 words; It's all about the care!

Care for your pet, and care for their family.

Unfortunately doing what we do costs money; and talking about money is one of the hardest parts of being a vet.

When we're involved in a family's life, we feel a responsibility for both the family and the pet. Imagine the dilemma; Fluffy has a broken leg and needs an operation to repair it, but Fluffy's owner has just been made redundant. We try very hard to never make assumptions about someone's ability to pay for their pets's care, but we wouldn't be caring if we didn't take it into account. If you could listen to our thoughts, you would hear an internal dialogue balancing the needs of an animal with the cost of treatment and the needs of a family. Our job is to offer the very best veterinary treatment while still listening to a family's thoughts. We never want someone to feel guilty about having to compromise between what's best and what they can afford.

 

It needn't even be that dramatic - perhaps an ear infection needs two courses of medication, or an anxious dog needs to be sedated to have her nails clipped.

We would all love to be able to work as vets without charging for our care, but being a vet isn't like being a doctor; Medicare won't pick up the bill. Unfortunately, various people insist on us paying their bills - the rent, the drug bill, the leases (endoscopes, xray & ultrasound machines), the rates, the utilities, even the staff want paying!

 

It would be easier if we weren't all committed to doing the best job that we can. But we are committed to doing the best that we can for your pets, and we are committed to helping you afford the best that you can too.

Part of that commitment is to help take the financial stress away from pet ownership, especially in the most stressful times. We have been vocal in our support of pet insurance for several years. Pet insurance means that when your pet is unwell or injured, you can concentrate on them rather than the cost of treatment.

There are many companies offering pet insurance in Australia; a simple Google search for "Pet Insurance in Australia" returns 17.6 million results. It can feel a bit of a minefield, especially as policies aren't all equal. Don't panic though, almost all pet insurance policies in Australia provide cover for unexpected illnesses and injuries.

Whichever policy you choose for your pet, it is important to read the fine print carefully. Some companies offer policies including the phrase covered-for-life. These are policies which last for a pets's whole life (as long as you keep paying the premiums) meaning ongoing cover for treatment of chronic conditions (such as allergies or arthritis).

 

In an attempt to make it easier for families, we are developing a relationship with PetPlan Australia. We have chosen to associate with PetPlan, because they are currently the only pet insurance company in Australia to offer Covered-For-Life policies (none of their policies are set-term). Their policies also have a fixed excess as standard (although to reduce your premium, you can elect to contribute an additional percentage excess).

Our relationship means that we are now also able to offer 4 weeks free pet insurance for healthy animals under 1 year old*. It is very simple to organise; just an examination and a single, simple form. At the end of the 4 weeks, Petplan will call to ask if you would like to the policy to continue, but they will only call you once.

*Animals older than 12 months can still be insured through PetPlan, but aren't entitled to the four weeks free.

Please don't worry about the cost of treatment! We're always happy to talk you through the options.

 

 


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