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Solon wants proper regulation of veterinarian practice.

Representative Paolo Z. Duterte of Davao City’s 1st District emphasized the necessity for the nation to have enabling laws that will punish and hold veterinarians accountable for willful misconduct and ignorance in the practice of their profession on Wednesday.

The “Anti-Veterinary Malpractice Act of 2023,” introduced by Duterte, seeks to institutionalize the fine, suspension of a veterinarian’s license to practice, and revocation of their operating permit as punishments for veterinary malpractice.

In his bill, Duterte wanted to make sure that vets had insurance that would cover any claims for damages brought against them for any actions or inactions that led to an animal’s harm or death.

According to him, “the state recognizes the role of veterinary medicine in the nation as a practice dedicated to the protection of the animal population through safe and appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of these animals.”

He continued by saying that Republic Act (RA) No. 9268, also known as The Philippine Veterinary Medicine Act of 2004, institutionalizes the Professional Regulatory Board of Veterinary Medicine’s mandate and establishes rules for the practice of veterinary medicine.

In order to regulate the aforementioned profession, the Board, according to Duterte, has always relied on the Code of Ethics and Code of Technical Standards for Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, as well as other policies issued in accordance with RA 9268. However, the practice remains unregulated and unbridled, leading to a number of malpractice cases against veterinarians that go unpunished because there is no suitable law for the purpose.

According to Duterte, it is the policy of the State to safeguard and advance the welfare of all animals by monitoring and policing the construction and operation of all facilities used for breeding, caring for, treating, or rehabilitating all animals as either trade goods or domestic pets.

In order to accomplish this, the State will be able to standardize and regulate the practice of veterinary medicine, which has the responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s animal population through safe and appropriate animal diagnosis, treatment, and surgery, according to Duterte.

According to HB 7896, “Any veterinarian who performs any act constituting veterinary medicine malpractice or illegal surgery shall be punishable by fine or both and, the cancellation of the practitioner’s license to practice veterinary medicine, revocation of the Certification of Registration, or cancellation of the special permit issued on behalf of his/her practice.”

According to Duterte’s proposed legislation, veterinary medical malpractice would be punished by a fine ranging from PHP20,000 to PHP250,000, as well as the cancellation and revocation of licenses and permits.

The law also mandates that all veterinarians obtain Veterinary Malpractice Insurance of at least PHP50,000 to cover any claims of damages stemming from an insured’s act or omission that causes harm to or the death of any animal.

It further stated that any veterinarian who violates the Act’s provisions will have their professional license suspended, and this suspension will continue in effect until the violation is remedied.

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