Yesterday, Toa Payoh Vets was inspected by the AVA before its operating licence can be renewed. It was the same AVA vet who did the inspection the previous time and I wanted Dr Daniel to be present. Somehow he was not around during the inspection of the waiting area and reception counter. Then, during inspection of the surgery room, he had to answer a phone call.
It is important that the operating vets be around at the inspection although they are not licensee as many regulatory matters are best learnt from being on the spot. Sometimes, new inspection surprises are introduced. This time, there was a check on 3 medical records. I took out the recent 3, all of which were done by Dr Vanessa. A dog and two hamster cases done.
There is a checklist for inspection but it is not available on the AVA website. Some years ago, the two AVA vets who came to inspect were behaving like the army non-commissioned officers. One Dr Lau placed his fingers on the window sill to check for the presence of dust during his inspection. Later, when I could not meet the AVA deadline to complete my clinic renovation, he decided to close me down. The reasons being that I had not installed the wall cabinets and the reception counter.
"You ought to penalise the contractor in the contract for not be able to complete on time," he said to me as he marched off. He had closed the first Vet Surgery in Singapore for the AVA. A record. The surgery had all facilities available - water, electricity, air conditioning, all regulatory rooms, drugs and medication. I got a table and chairs and mobile cabinets but he was not interested in the fact that this clinic was operational. I had to write in to appeal to the Dr Ngiam Tong Tau to state my case and was permitted to commence operations. Yet, the HDB which is my landlord offered advices on how to get contractors and expedite planning permission. Two government organisations. One tried to kill the business. The other tried to help it start fast.
There was another AVA vet, Dr Liow who referred me to the Singapore Veterinary Association for using "xylazine to induce dogs". She had asked me what drugs I used to induce dogs, like those professors doing viva for final year students. I said I used xylazine and then halothane mask. She did not come back to me for clarification but instead wrote to the SVA. I was not called up by the SVA but I was told by the President of the SVA that she had written to the SVA to lodge a complaint.
So, you can see why I am wary of the AVA vets nowadays. However, the recent AVA vet, Dr Joanna Khoo did not come to penalise but gave excellent advices on veterinary matters like controlled drugs of importance to the HSA and on a vet practice that require other vets to call him personally if they want to refer after-office hour patients. Too much business is good for this vet practice. When more referral practices are opened, this practice may be relieved.