The VDA is managed by members of the veterinary profession who are experts in legal defence. There are many medical defence organisations in the world, but only two veterinary defence organisations, the VDA and the VDS in the United Kingdom!
The VDA is the only Veterinary Defence Organisation in South Africa.
It is obviously in the best interests of any veterinarian that any adverse incident or owner grievance be managed as soon as possible in order to stop it from escalating into a formal Claim, an SAVC complaint or a civil lawsuit. Examples of adverse incidents include a treatment that failed, an anesthetic death or an owner unhappy with advice or an explanation.
The VDA has 23 years' experience dealing with SAVC complaints and veterinary negligence legislation. You will be provided with advice and guidance on how to manage the owner and the patient; how to undo any damage that has already occurred to your defence; and what steps to take next.
You will be asked to send specific information and documentation to the Consultant. This will form the basis of your defence, and the VDA will proceed to formulate your defence. The VDA will stay in contact with you and will manage your case through the subsequent stages right until the case has been concluded. Most disputes are resolved with the VDA’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Program (see next Program). The VDA also provides a unique full-service SAVC complaints defence program, including compiling the member’s responses to the allegations as well as all correspondence with the SAVC, and will arrange expert witnesses and legal representation for hearings and trials as necessary.
Veterinary practitioners face a multitude of risks and stresses. The SAVC has recently become more aggressive again in its role as professional regulator. Litigation is more easily accessible to the public than ever before.
The VDA’s effective management of incidents vastly reduces the threat to your professional life, your health and your mental well-being.