Issue 49 - From the Registrars Desk


John Baguley, Registrar


The Board collects a significant amount of information each year from the veterinary profession through changes to the Register, Annual Returns and its hospital licensing function.  We also have some interesting information for the profession and the public on complaint investigations.

As at 30 June 2018 there were 3,920 registered veterinary practitioners in NSW (3,784 in 2017).  This includes 417 veterinarians with honorary registration (441 in 2017) and 127 registered veterinary specialists (163 in 2017).   The number of registered specialists has fallen slightly compared to typical increases each year as those who have applied for honorary registration have now been placed in that division of the Register.


Employment General Practice
Gender and Age Group



The majority of registered veterinarians work in general veterinary practice (60%) and the majority of these veterinarians work in general small animal practice (70%).  The age and gender distribution of veterinarians in general veterinary practice is shown in the graph above – Employment General Practice, Gender and Age Group 2018.

Another interesting way to look at the distribution of veterinarians in NSW is through the remoteness index.  This index was developed to describe access to a range of services and specifically how far a person has to travel to centres of various sizes.[1] These data can be seen in the graph – All Veterinarians, Gender, Age Group and Remoteness of Practice 2018.

As at 30 June 2018 there were 687 licensed hospitals in NSW (676 in 2017).  This includes 624 small animal hospitals (616 in 2017), 47 mixed animal hospitals (44 in 2017), and 16 large animal hospitals (16 in 2017). The remoteness analysis can also be applied to hospitals by licence type and these data can be seen in the graph – Veterinary Hospitals, Licence Type and Remoteness of Practice 2018.


All Veterinarians
Gender, Age Group and Remoteness of Practice



Veterinary Hospitals
Licence Type and Remoteness of Practice



During the financial year the Board received 57 new complaints (72 in 2017) and finalised 58 complaints (62 in 2017).  Approximately 78% of these complaints were dismissed but overall in the years 2007-2018 approximately 70% of complaints have been dismissed.  The determination of complaints for the period 2007-2018 can be seen in the graph – Complaint Decisions 2007-2018.


Complaint Decisions
2007 - 2018



If you would like more information regarding Board operations, including registrations, licensing and complaints, go to the Resources section of the Board’s website.  Descriptive statistics on these topics for the last financial year are available in the 2018 Annual Report and trends in registration, licensing and complaints are available from the Statistics page.

A new Board was appointed in July 2018 with all but one member being returned for another 3 year term.  I would like to welcome all Board members and particularly Jane Lord, our new member, who represents academics in veterinary science and is based at Charles Sturt University.  Jane replaced Jules Beatty of the University of Sydney and the Board and the public benefited significantly from Jules’s practical wisdom and resolute attention to the profession’s role in promoting animal welfare.

Finally, this is also an opportunity to thank the Board members, and staff members Mary, Glenn, Melanie, Des and Kathryn for their valuable contributions to the work of the Board during this past year.

Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas.

John Baguley 


[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2004, Rural regional and remote health, A guide to remoteness classifications, AIHW.