Application of a systemic integrative framework to describe comprehensively the Flemish swine health system

Cristina Rojo Gimeno, Jeroen Dewulf, Dominiek Maes, Erwin Wauters

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstract


    A well-functioning swine health system is crucial to ensure a sustainable pig production. Yet, in Flanders, little attention has been paid to understand it. The objective of this study was to capture a detailed picture of the Flemish swine health system to unravel its complexity by using a systems thinking approach. To that end, qualitative interviews were held with 29 relevant stakeholders. An hybrid thematic analysis was conducted which consisted of two phases. First, an inductive thematic analysis was conducted which resulting themes were, on a second step, classified into the building blocks of a systemic framework. This framework combined a structural and a functional analysis that allowed to identify the key actors and their functions. Additionally, a transformational analysis was performed to evaluate how structures and the entire swine health system enable or disable functions. Findings revealed that the Flemish swine health system presents several merits such as the synchronization of policies and sector’s agreements to reduce the antimicrobial use in the pig sector and the presence of a rich network of universities and research institutes that contribute to the education of health professionals. Nevertheless, several systemic failures were observed at different levels such as the lack of a good professional bodies representing the swine veterinarians, the tradition that veterinary advice is provided for ‘free’ by feed mill companies, and the shortage of reliable productivity data. Both last failures may hinder swine practitioners to provide integrative advice. While few veterinarians are remunerated per hour by farmers, the most common business model used by veterinarians is largely based on the sale of medicines. Thus, veterinarians entail often a conflict of interest when advising treatments (e.g. with vaccines) and, in turn, farmers distrust their advice. On a positive note, alternatives to the traditional business model were suggested by both veterinarians and farmers which may indicate that there is intention to change it, but the broader institutional and socio-cultural environment does not enable this evolution. The results of the present study can aid policy makers to anticipate the effects of proposed interventions and regulations at different levels of the system.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Aantal pagina’s1
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2-okt.-2017
    EvenementJoint meeting VEE-VEEC-AESA: Theme: Cultural and societal influences on treatment options in animal health - The Academic Hall of the University of Liège, Liege, België
    Duur: 2-okt.-20172-okt.-2017


    CongresJoint meeting VEE-VEEC-AESA
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    • Joint meeting VEE-VEEC-AESA

      Cristina Rojo Gimeno (Spreker)


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