February 28, 2009

Things I didn't know last week - February 28th 2009

This is a post in a regular weekly series about things I've learned or come to realise during the previous week.

This week "Vets - They don't know what to charge"

My cat Zeke got into a fight recently with the neighbours cat. He gave as good as he got, but ended up with a nasty bite to part of his tail. I didn't know anything about this until one evening when he he came and sat next to me. Suddenly I could smell something.... pongy. It smelled awful! On further investigation it appeared to be an abscess that had burst at the site of the bite and was kicking out some foul-smelling green puss.

Quick as a flash I had him down to the vet's - which is especially disturbing for him because the last time he went there he was neutered and still bears the scars and the memories.

The vet looked at his tail, wiped it with some cleanser and cotton wool, gave him an injection and 8 antibiotic tablets.....

....and charged £36 ($50)

Now I realise that the vet has overheads. I realise that the vet spent years studying biology and anatomy and zoology just so he could wipe my poor cat's abscess, but isn't $50 for 4 minutes of work a little out of proportion? After all I have a friend who is a trained physiotherapist. She works with learning disabled people in the local area, visiting them, helping them walk, move, and sit correctly. She even goes to their houses at night to ensure they are sleeping in the right positions. She earns somewhere in the region of £8/$12 per hour. She too has studied for several years doing internships at big hospitals. She can talk 'medical speak' with the best of them. (She even knows the correct definition of 'phalanges') but she doesn't earn anywhere near as much as the vet.

Is that right and just?

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