Assessing Food Animal Veterinary Services in Underserved Areas of Rural Ontario
Mar 09, 2023
Collaborating to assess capacity in rural Ontario
Funded by the OMAFRA Special Initiatives program in 2020, Drs. Sara Epp (University of Guelph), David Kelton (University of Guelph), Steven Roche (ACER) and a diverse team of industry stakeholders began a project aimed at examining the needs, capacity, and barriers to accessing food animal veterinary services in underserved areas of rural Ontario.
Objectives and methods
The objectives of this project were to (1) support the livestock and veterinary sectors in determining social and economic barriers to growth amongst veterinary practices; (2) review current programs and identify gaps; and (3) assess the current and future needs for veterinarians in rural Ontario. This project involved several phases, including:
Literature review: A review of the current evidence for implementing academic, government, and veterinary strategies for overcoming current barriers
Mapping and identifying underserved areas: Using ArcGIS software, veterinary services areas and regional farm densities were mapped to identify gaps in service areas
Interviews: Interviews were conducted with stakeholders to understand past programs as well as current needs. From this, two surveys were developed for veterinarians and producers
Focus groups: Current and prospective veterinary students from the Ontario Veterinary College were asked to provide feedback on what might attract them to underserved areas
The results of this work are presented in two complementary documents. Click on the documents to read more:
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