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TDK conference 2018

The market opportunities for specialisation in the Hungarian small animal practices
Juhász Zsófia Dorottya - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Veterinary Forensics, Law and Economics
Supervisor: Dr. László Ózsvári


The animal keepers' demand for high quality health care in Hungary has grown. Only well-equipped vet clinics of high standards can provide this. The developments, investments impose significant financial costs and the device claim of every special service diverges. Specialisation is challenging, therefore postgraduate courses are inevitable. That is why no vet clinic in the private sector can provide the highest standard of service in each and every professional field. The aim of my research is to evaluate, whether the market conditions in Hungary are present for veterinary clinics to specialise in one particular field.

In my research I surveyed the attitude of 30 vets and 150 pet owners regarding specialisation in veterinary medicine by using questioners. 30 vets were asked through personal approach between February and May 2017. The answers show that 20.0% of the vets do not consider postgraduate training to be important, whereas 46.6% of them think the high-level pet owners' expectations make it necessary. 70.0% would spend 15.0% of their profit on specialised development of the practice. The obstacle of specialisation is the low willingness of the vets to send patients to other, more specialised clinics. 40.0% of the respondents wouldn’t send the patient to a more specialised clinic, 60% only then, if they are certain, that the patient will return to them after the necessary treatment. 30.0% do not highlight a specialisation on their webpage at all; only 10.0% emphasizes their specialised services. The answers given regarding Facebook usage revealed that 10.0% of the vets use this social page to point out their field of specialisation, while 80.0% provide general information.

Between 2017 March and July 150 pet owners answered the printed questionnaire, which was placed in the waiting room of the examined animal hospital in Budapest. According to 70.0% of the respondents the same specialisation would be needed in veterinary medicine as seen in human medicine. While 40.0% of them would go straight to a specialized clinic, 55.0% would first go to their own vet. Only if he suggested specialised care, would they turn to the appropriate clinic. 52.0% of the pet owners would be willing to spend a larger amount of money on special vet services. 58% of the pet owners, if satisfied, would return to the clinic with other problems, as far as generic care is provided as well.

My conclusion is, that at this moment in time the market conditions in Hungary for establishing a clinic specialized in merely one veterinary field are not suitable. Nevertheless, in those practices, where the conditions are partially given, they have to aim at the development of a specific field. In the future, with the expected market tendencies, these clinics will have an advantage, as they already have appropriate equipment and well-trained staff. The willingness of veterinarian colleges to send patients to specialised clinics can be improved with professional guidelines.

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