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Monday, October 05, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Brown County veteranarian considers retiring rather than comply with state regulators

One Friday, the Laura Lane reported in the $$$ Bloomington Herald-Times:

A Brown County veterinarian who prides himself on providing affordable health care for pets without costly diagnostic tests and advanced medications may not have to retire instead of complying with state regulations he does not believe in.

People come from around the state to James Brester’s rural Bean Blossom Animal Clinic, where instead of making an appointment, you show up with your animals, sign in and wait – sometimes hours — for your name to be called. He has been a veterinarian 49 years and does not charge an office visit fee.

In a recent letter to patients, Brester penned his frustrations with Indiana Veterinary Licensing Board regulations and the attorney general’s office, saying state regulators gave him a list of changes he needed to make in order to retain his medical license.

“I'd like to continue practicing, but it is going to take a miracle to keep my license," he said in his letter. "I don’t feel I can conform to their request … there is a lot in the settlement that I don’t feel right about.”

Brester said he has spent his career keeping costs down for his clients, many of them low-income people who say they could not afford vaccinations and treatment at a more modern veterinary office. His lawyer, Franklin DeWester, has taken his pets — including current Dachshunds Yogi and Annie – to Brester for 40 years.

DeWester has been negotiating with the attorney general's office on Dr. Brester's behalf, and he said Friday that he has every expectation of a successful outcome soon.

"I'm absolutely confident he'll be able to continue his practice, and Dr. Brewster will be able to accept it," said DeWester of the pending settlement, which he said is in the process of being finalized. The attorney said the attorney general's office has been very understanding and cooperative throughout the negotiations.

DeWester said when his pets needed more advanced care Brester did not provide, he referred him to another vet.

“He has deliberately not focused on high-tech stuff that is so expensive it would cause him to have to charge more money than many people could afford,” DeWester said. “There is no doubt in my mind he has treated literally thousands of animals who otherwise would not have had seen a vet. In the time I have known him, he has treated animals at vastly reduced costs, and when people were very poor, he’d treat their animals for free.”

“He has been distraught and upset by this, but he loves practicing veterinary medicine and being able to treat animals, and by doing that help the animals’ owners.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 5, 2015 08:29 AM
Posted to Indiana Government