Europe Needs Consistent Teaching of the Economics of Animal Health
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Education in the use of economics applied to animal health (EAH) has been offered as part of various veterinary degree programmes since the 1980s. However, it has never been institutionalised in under-graduate curricula for animal health professionals and there is no systematic information on current teaching and education activities. An online survey was conducted in Europe to assess existing teaching programmes and the expectations of people using economics in animal health. The main conclusion is that there is insufficient EAH education on offer and there are disparate approaches to EAH-related curricula. Respondents expressed concerns regarding for example the limited education relating to assessing economic impacts of animal diseases, evaluation of intervention decisions, or using economics for general business management and understanding markets. Both public and private organisations predicted an increasing need for EAH in the future. The overarching implication is that EAH teaching methods and materials need to be developed and philosophically embedded into animal health curricula to ensure that future policy decisions regarding animal health are based on strong, well-founded knowledge of resource allocation.
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