VA takes steps to immediately enhance access to care

On Wednesday, May 21, following President Obama’s statement regarding outreach to Veterans currently waiting for appointments, Secretary Shinseki directed Veterans Health Administration (VHA) leadership to personally review their processes to ensure that VA is doing everything possible to schedule Veteran patients for their appointments.

VA has redoubled efforts to provide quality care to Veterans and has taken steps at national and local levels to ensure timely access to care. VHA has delivered a coordinated, system-wide initiative to accelerate care to Veterans and promptly communicated this to leadership in the field on May 22, with implementation occurring the morning of May 23. Each of our facilities is either enhancing their clinic capacity to help Veterans get care sooner, or where we cannot increase capacity, increasing the care we acquire in the community through non-VA care. Each of our facilities is reaching out go Veterans to coordinate the acceleration of their care.

Key Facts: 

  • VA health care facilities are systematically reviewing clinic capacity in an effort to maximize our ability to provide Veterans medical appointments when, and in the manner they want them.
  • Activities being reviewed to maximize our abilities include:
    • Capacity and efficiency assessments
      • Ensuring Primary Care clinic panels are correctly sized and achieving the desired level of productivity
      • Extending or flexing clinic hours on nights and weekends
      • Ability for overtime for providers
      • Assessing the availability of community providers to provide the care being requested
    • Identification of resources required to provide timely care for Veterans.
  • The VA health care system was established to provide the health care and benefits Veterans have earned and deserve. Veterans and Veteran Service Organizations know the importance of a VA health care system dedicated to serving Veterans, given VA’s mission, expertise and focus on care specifically for Veterans. For instance, VA offers specialty services and expertise in the areas of mental health, spinal cord injury, and many other areas that are unique to VA health care delivery and hard to find outside VA.

 

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76 Comments to “VA takes steps to immediately enhance access to care”

  1. Marsha Evans says:

    What about “Existing Patients” (in the system) who can’t access care fore acute illnesses and no one even documents repeated calls for care?? It’s not just about ‘secret lists’!! There is no way to investigate these issues, since it isn’t documented anywhere! I was told “You HAD your annual visit”!! Priority One, 100% Service Connected, P&T. and can’t get care!!

  2. Kevin Fahy says:

    I was told I have a diseased artery to in my leg. I get an appointment with a vascular surgeon on September 11. That’s accelerated? The inflammation this creates has degenerated my ankle and bones on my foot. It only took 5 years for the vascular surgeon consult. That’s accelerated? It took getting a fourth blood clot in the same vein to get fast tracked. Meanwhile I am waiting for consult for 3 herniated discs in my back for 3 years. That’s accelerated?

    • Laszlo Mathe says:

      I feel your pain. Even though mine wasn’t as bad as yours but having to wait 6 months for an MRI and then another 6 for surgery is too much to ask for. Even better the clinic is limited and I have to drive 3 hours to get to the hospital. The drive isn’t all too bad as long as it is warm it is a pain when covered in snow. The area I live in has a small clinic and there is over 30,000 vets in the area. The numbers are off it cost more to send us over than it would to have a small hospital for us here.

    • Kevin says:

      Write to your senior senator, and the President.

    • USMC says:

      I’m a desert Storm marine and suffer with skin problems, basal problems as well. The VA acknowledged my skin problems but denied my nasal issues. I breathe oil and other chemicals for months but the VA says I have no proof. Unbelievable…. I came defend the country from attack but the country refuses to take care of us once we return broken. Way to go…Veteran Affairs, thanks for nothing…

  3. Edward L Lester says:

    Well. I am out of blood pressure meds , soon be out of others as well.
    I wrote the SALEM VA facility pharmacy that I was out of blood pressure meds over a week ago.
    Still no meds .
    I haven’t had an appointment for over a year yet meds I take
    require liver tests ….
    May not seem like much of a problem to you , but to me it is very real.

    • jay hopeful says:

      go to the facility and the pharmacy. Tell them you need meds. They will tell you to see your provider. Go to the clinic. If you cannot get any meds that day, go to the directors office and see the patient advocate. File a complaint. You’d be surprised how quickly they will act. Sorry, but I’m a VA employee and that’s how things get done.

  4. When will you pay me the $8,100 in college benefits you OWE ME FOR MY HONORABLE SERVICE!

  5. Tanya says:

    I got out of the military after 7 yrs of active duty service. When I registered with the VA as soon as I departed the military the VA sent me a letter saying I made too much money the year prior to get seen in VA facilities and would have to wait on my disability determination to recieve health care through them. I thought this was ridiculous. At the time I applied, I couldn’t find a job to accommodate my disability and I’m a single mom of two kids, but I made too much money the year prior? I’ve been waiting on my disability determination since October. I get a letter every so often saying they are still working on it.

    • Shawn says:

      Please walk in to that VA hospital admissions/eligibility area and ask to fill out a “Hardship Waiver”. That will give you the opportunity to report your current income and medical deductions, rather than what you made last year. If you are unemployed and have little to no income, you likely will end up below the VA Pension Income threshold, not have to pay copayments for visits (also maybe medications) as well as be eligible for reimbursement for travel expenses. Ask how quickly the hardship waiver will be processed and who is the business office Service Recovery Representative (name and number) who you can call if it is not processed in the estimated time. (It should just be a week or two, maybe three. Hopefully they can process it that day). I hope that helps. NOTE: When doing your annual means test, if it is due in mid-year, but January rolls around and your situation greatly changed, everyone can do a new means test as of January 1st, so you don’t have to wait till later in the year to make sure the VA captures your current financial situation. Also google, “VA IB 10-454 and VA IB 10-453″ for guidance on what info to count and example medical deductions in your means test. (November 2012 might be the most recent publication of that bulletin)

  6. navid says:

    (CNN) - Pedro Valdez, a Vietnam veteran, wanted help. And he knew where to get it — through the Phoenix VA — or so he thought.

    Again and again, starting in December 2012, Valdez would try to schedule with — and would even show up to see — doctors at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Arizona about his shortness of breath, according to his daughter. He thought he had gotten confirmed appointments; even toting cards with a specific date and time.

    “He’d have the card in hand, go to check in, and they’d tell him, ‘Mr. Valdez, you don’t have an appointment in the computer. We have no idea what you’re talking about,” his daughter Priscella Valdez told CNN.

    In October 2013, Pedro Valdez showed up at his daughter’s house after going in for another appointment that never happened. His daughter set out then to make sure Valdez had a firm time in the VA computers, not just written down on a card. The next available slot he could get, after all that effort, was in three months, on January 6, 2014, according to his daughter.

    Pedro Valdez never made it.

  7. Lisa Kay EWing says:

    You call getting care for a service connected injury for 7 Aug fast track. Come of who are you kidding. Vets know your service suck, so lets do something faster then that.

  8. John Buono says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it for Birmingham VA. Been waiting 3 years for back surgery.

  9. Debbie says:

    I tried for over 15 months to get an appointment with the VA at American Lake. Finally gave up and called Seattle VA Center and got an appt in 5 days. Now I have to drive further but at least I am being seen faster.

  10. I have been going to the VA about my right knee it service connected all I get is the run around they keep giving me all kind of excuses

  11. Dave Jamison says:

    Only expect to see the status quo! Until these bonuses stop and
    Managers are held accountable nothing will change.

  12. Tammy Gordon says:

    My husband is a Gulf War Veteran and is only getting worse. The VA Doctor’s refuses to put him on pain meds so I had to quit my job to take care of him. We have been fighting with the VA since 2000 for him to get the benefits that he deserves and as of right now, they are still working on his claims.
    It is so sad to see you Veterans, who protect and serve our country and not be treated the way you should be. It is heartbreaking to see my husband, that is only 46 years old, not be able to even through a baseball to his children.
    I am OUTRAGED as to how the Veterans are treated!!!!!!!
    I really hope that changes are made to HELP you Veterans!!! I want to THANK all of you for everything that you have done for us and our country :)

    • Robert says:

      Tammy,
      I suggest that you contact the Disabled American Veterans, DAV office for help. They should be in your telephone book; or, the DAV may have a satellite office in the VA hospital nearest you. i will keep you in my prayers.
      Robert

  13. Last year the VA stated they were focusing their efforts on clearing up all the past due compensation claims of over a year, If the VA efforts are anything compared to the way they handle the compensation claims then we can expect many, many more deaths! I have lost all confidence in the VA and do not believe a word that comes out of that administration. How can you sleep at night people of the VA? I would hold all the Secy, mangers, supervisors pay in abeyance until all problems are resolved, I bet they would clean up their act in 30 days. Same goes for the compensation division.

  14. Robert Phillips says:

    I’m not sure where YOU guys are getting your care, but I have been in the Long Beach (CA.) V.A. Hospital – and its many Southern California satellite clinics – for about 6 years and I have had timely, professional service every time I’ve needed it. I see my primary Doctor at least once a year – sooner, if necessary – and quarterly visits to the main hospital – for arthritis issues – and have NEVER had a prolonged wait for ANY treatment. Perhaps that’s because I’m already IN the system, and have my needs down pat, but I have had nothing but the finest care, in the most expedient manner, that I could possibly hope for. I even had an emergency visit to a closer civilian facility because I incorrectly thought I was having a stroke, and that has been totally covered, financially, and QUICKLY – within a week – provided followup visits with both my primary doctor, and the main hospital. Perhaps I am blessed because of my location, but I can recommend the Long Beach V.A. Hospital, as an EXCELLENT provider. A happy veteran.
    ps. It also only took about 4 to 6 weeks for me to originally get into the system.

  15. IT TAKES ME 6 MONTHS TO GET AN APPOINTMENT WITH MY PRIMARY DOCTOR.

  16. John Tritz says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve had to seek care outside of the VA for health needs.

  17. Don Gokey says:

    After waiting for 16 months for primary care appointment at the Worcester, MA VA OPC, without warning, I was denied Special Mode Transportation (wheelchair van) and had to miss my appointment. I routinely receive wheelchair travel service to the Boston VA clinics. Have others had problems getting to their clinic appointments because their VA facilities wouldn’t provide wheelchair transportation? Special Mode Transportation is part of the Travel Reimbursement (travel pay) benefits provided by law to service-connected and needy veterans.

  18. Mike Ishii says:

    I have no problem getting appointments with my primary doctor or treatments at VA in Honolulu at Tripler Army Hospital.

    • Tammy says:

      My husband has been to Boston VA, Manchester, NH ( they are the worst) and now he is going to White River VT and they are not much better. He has to wait months for an appointment !! Not sure what to do at this point???

  19. Ramon says:

    No doubt……..I must have it real good cause it only takes me 75 to 90 days to see the PC but by then new problems have cropped up due to not taking care of the original prob in the firsr place. Get to the pc and he says “ok about that problem you called about”…..damn doc I forgot about that, here’s what it is now !! and he just rolls his eyes and thinks I’m crazy cause I now have a whole new problem……………..

  20. Jason Thomas says:

    Worthless, I don’t feel suicidal until I walk into the VA. How’s that for the stress the VHA/VA causes me in attempting to get care for my PTSD. I’m not even asking for quality care just any care. Sad, it’s terrible to think of our past service members and the hell they went through in their care or our brothers and sisters missing limbs.if it requires me to stop seeking treatment so they can get proper care then I’d be happy to do it. Clean house

  21. Luis Garcia says:

    Be thankful Mr. Hamby you still have a doctor. My primary doctor dumped me and now I have consult with a nurse practitioner. I asked why my doctor would not see me and the answer was that I was an older patient and to go to a geriatrics clinic.

  22. Paul Lazar says:

    No one cares. I have lost most of my teeth do to falling trying to get out of my house. You people never read these comments. Because I am not 100 percent because of the people thru c and p. So I will sit here waiting like I had to wait 3 months to get an egress out of my home. Compassion, ever heard of it. Your people that work at the VA do not know what the word means, do you? My gums are now rotting away. I will wait for your response. Hopeful I am still alive!!!

  23. It took me from 2006-Until,June 2010 to get a mitral valve replaced and I had to pay for everything ,with no income and unemployable to boot.

  24. victor m. zavala says:

    My Harlingen Texas VA Clinic refuse to refill my Service Connected Meds back in 2010 and still no meds, just here pain and suffering, they don’t care, they, the director lie to the U.S. Senator, he told him I was no longer enroll and that my Torn Claim was, Mr. Zavala (me) against the United States, not with the VA Clinic. Hope the OIG take a look at my case, I did file a form with them, let see how serious they are on helping us veterans on our care. They the OIG need to come down and talk to us Veterans here in the Valley, don’t take to the employee they are afraid to speak out for us. Well let see what the OIG does and how long they take to take action on this issues…God Bless.
    retired sfc victor m. zavala,3940…. disable korea veteran with 70% disable VA Rating.

    • d says:

      I’m located in Northern AZ and I have to drive over 40 miles round trip for an appointment at the nearest CBOC, and over four hours to the VA hospital in Phoenix . The earliest I or any Veteran for that matter to be able to see the doctor would normally take an average of a month or longer since there is only one “Doctor” and one Nurse Practitioner. We need another or two more doctors to service all the Veterans in this area. We need our State Representatives, Congressmen, and Senators to kick some butt! It is the time to “Walk the Walk”; since the President just to”talks the talk”. The IG and anyone else should hold meetings to allow all Veterans to voice our concerns directly in person so there is no confusion. Far to many Veteran put there trust in the VA and far to many suffer for no reason. God Help Us

      are far to many people hired
      aare

  25. Petra says:

    It is unfair to bash all the employees at the VA. Many work long, hard and often unpaid hours, not to mention many of them are not veterans. Consider the amount of DISABLED veterans needing emergency care all at one time.

    Veterans also need to know that they can use patient advocates instead of vocalizing only online. File IG complaints. As with the military the VA has chain of commands.

    CONGRESS mandates the laws, they approve hiring. If it weren’t for internships, volunteers, work studies, CWT and non paid work the VA would not be able to function effectively on any level.

    That includes compensation, vocational rehabilitation , medical centers and the hospitals. Then veterans support the same party that deny us better care? Deny us more benefits?

    It is time to look at who truly has the power to make the changes.

    • JAC MAC BROWN says:

      Easy way to solve this problem. Unless and until all Veterans receive prompt and world class treatment, all members of Senate, Congress, Department secretary’s and the President of the United states have to receive treatment at a V. A. HOSPITAL.

  26. Over 1 year, no medication at all, no appointment’s either …!!!

  27. Jerry Donnelly says:

    I waited 14 months for a neuro-surgeon consult. When the appointment was near it was cancelled because my cervical MRI was 18 months old. So now I am scheduled in August. That is a 20 month wait, and I am rated at 80%.

  28. Bill Lucas says:

    I will believe it when I see it

  29. David Goodall says:

    I’m a little tired of the perception that everything at the VA is a mess. I’m in Phoenix, and you’ve probably got the opinion that nothing works here from the news. That is not my experience. I have never had a problem with them quality of medical care. I’ve had caring primary care providers and great nurses. I have had problems with scheduling from administrative and clerical personnel.

    The new administrator cleared the day-long waits in the ER. The standing lines to check into my clinic ended. The lines at the outpatient lab and x-ray are pretty much gone. Not all is perfect, and when I was told to get physical therapy, I called 5-6 times and left voice mails that I needed to make an appointment. I never received a return call, but when I needed to go in for something else I stopped at the clerk’s window to schedule my PT. When I told him I had left a lot of messages and never was called, he said, “We never listen to those. We don’t have time.”

    5 years ago, they saved my life when I had a pulmonary embolism. I had an excellent surgical experience to remove a tumor from the back of my head. When I needed spine surgery, they sent me to the Barrow Neurological Center, the very best. So, it isn’t perfect, but I’ve found it to be very, very good and improving.

  30. Michael Peterson says:

    What goes on at the VA is straight CRIMINAL behavior. It is the worst run governmental organization by far, arguably in the history of the country and NOTHING ever changes. Promises, promises, promises. Obama is a joke. He promised to clean up the VA, and has failed to do so. It took many deaths and bad media PR for this faker to finally do…….something. allegedly. Sad, sad, tragic story.

  31. Tim Connelly says:

    I remember arriving at the reception center at basic training. As we were trying to march, a group of soldiers passed by and shouted “You’ll be sorry.” Boy were they right about that one. I arrived in Vietnam. At the reception center, A group of grizzled veterans yelled, “You’ll be sorry.” Now after 20 years of sub-par medical care at the VA, I am sorry, really sorry that I ever raised my right hand to protect this nation. I am now dependent on VA care. I wish I wasn’t. I have tried to be an advocate for my healthcare but once you try to fight the system you become branded a troublemaker. Last fall, I wrote ten letters to VA officials and members of Congress. I have not received an answer nine months later from anyone. That’s how significant I am as a veteran. What a sucker I was and am. I have lost trust in the VA and this nation’s leaders. I am nervous every time I go to the VA because I never know what to expect. The next time a person at the VA says Thanks for your service, they can kiss my —-.

  32. Waleigh Rasmussen says:

    Will this apply to the VA Outpatient Clinic in the Philippines as well. If not, WHY NOT?

  33. David Sharp says:

    I just got my letter from the VA stating what my upcoming appointments are. and some say cancelled by patient. these are appointments I did not even know I had yet? now I know how they keep backing up appointments

  34. Michael Rodgreiz says:

    All this talk is appreciated but where does the blame really belong? Not on the veterans and certainly not on the over worked VA health care staff.

    The problem lies with Congress for their consistently under-funding the VA. Congress funds their retirement and health care plans but the hell with the people.

    I also fault the people for voting in over and over again the same politicians who are self serving which is why we always have a do-nothing Congress.

    The VA Health Care System is understaffed because of under funding by Congress. Congress is responsible for any and all delay in vets receiving health care.

    Until we the people go to the voting polls and always, always vote out all incumbents, there will be no improvements for we the people.

  35. Sheridan Peterson says:

    Being ignored is not the half of it. It is the elderly abuse that we veterans must endure by sadistic physicians, and staff. I wrote the Inspector General recently concerning horrid lies written by physicians in my confidential health records that are available to all my other physicians in the system. I sent a copy of them, pages 50 – 55 of my progress notes. This is a felony. My health report is private and secure and to desecrate it is criminal.

    The other day I a form from the Inspector General. No acknowledgement, no address, no salutation, just a lot of gobbledygook meaning nothing.In essence the form stated that they would do nothing for this eighty-eight year old World War II Marine Corps veteran. Permit me to quote the essence of this reports: Because we receive more complaints than the OIG has resources to review in depth, we limit investigative efforts to issues that have the most serious potential risk to veterans and VA operations or for which the OIG is the only form for relief.” Well, it gets worse as it goes on. What is the form marked “MS OIG Hotline Logging Number MS 19-May-14″ saying. Your existence too insignificant to even acknowledge.

  36. I Dont believe it either someone put a meno no narcotics to be given out replace with antidepressants drugs that does not work for all pain doctors and nurses playing doc does more harm. My Dr retired Feb and cancel all pain meds so I went thru nasty withdraws have nonstop pain. So va hospital care sucks and clinics in madison wi.

  37. Please note their are many other veterans in same boat getting no were in the va system I made many complaints got no were . sorry I can’t help uu. Know I got type a complaint send it to IL to some Dr.

  38. Norm W says:

    If you are expecting any chances in the policy that has been going on for years, don’t hold your breath. The motto of the VA should read: PROMISES MADE, PROMISES NOT KEPT. PLEASE DIE SOON SO WE DON’T HAVE TO BE BOTHERED.

  39. Norm W says:

    Changes will be made after every veteran that is now needing healthcare has expired. Then they can say that all their appointments are up to date.

  40. John strain says:

    I’ve been waiting 9yrs for a knee replacement in the meantime my other knee us failing. I have a broken charite artificial disc at L5-S1 and it took me 3 years to get into see a neurologist…

  41. Terry-Stanley Ballard says:

    The entire Puget Sound VAMCs refuse to complete the DBQs under the FDC process. Challenge should be with the primary care and not the C&P but both refuse especially at the American Lake VAMC facility. If they shine you on with a lie, ask the primary care to give a # of completion especially the C&P exam section who should have a count. The patents advocate at the facility is clueless. Especially those enrolled at the PTSD clinic for the PTSD or mental health DBQ. DAV Service Officer in Olympia, WA OUT.

  42. James Guckian says:

    I have not herd from primary care for 6 months after I filed a complaint about negligence and mistreatment by my Dr. (Dr. Idiuarte) at the Reno Nv. VA hospital. I talk and filed with patient advocate and my mental health I still have not got any reply or help or Dr. Or meds or apology NOTHING! Please address this issue for my trust.

  43. Stephanie Grassi says:

    How do we alert the OIG that we want our records investigated? Who do we contact?

  44. polly M. says:

    My father has gone to two eye specialist because he has problems with one of his eyes going blurry. The find out that it was a bleeder, took pictures and sent them and a report to the VA. My father went to the VA and they look in his eye and they said,” Oh well, we don’t see anything, you don’t need to see a Cornea Specialist.” They did not bother to look at the records or the pictures sent with it. These are just regular eye doctors and now my father is still having bleeders in his eye. What are they waiting for, his eye to be full of blood or for him just to go complete blind in that one eye?

  45. Walt S says:

    General Shinseki, the culture of any large organization is set by the boss, it’s that simple! Employees, in this case VA employees take their cues from the top. Good management is always proactive in forming the positive values by which their employees perform their daily duties, i.e., respect for customers, coworkers, subordinates, superiors, and community. They do this by personally setting standards and demonstrating these values. Organizations are quick to understand what the boss wants and the penalties for ignoring the standards set. Enron’s Ken Lay tried to tell Congress that he could not be expected to know the details of the day-to-day operations of the company; as most of us know, the courts disagreed and Congress subsequently passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act holding senior management responsible for what Mr. Lay said could not be done. Unfortunately it took Enron’s financial ruin of thousands of lives to force this issue.

    As I stated at the beginning of this post, the cues come from the top, and what I have observed and personally experienced is that VA employees seem to have a sense of empowerment, a sense that they can do whatever they choose with no risk of oversight; oversight that seems not to exist within the VA healthcare system.

    As a 100% disabled Vietnam veteran I thank you for your honorable long-term military service, but I would suggest that this service does not seamlessly transfer to the skills necessary to successfully run a large organization such as the Veterans Administration. I would further suggest that by defending the abhorrent acts that have recently surfaced by touting all the good things you have accomplished, you have simply further incensed and already enraged veteran’s community. I fear there is nothing you can either say or do that can in any way ameliorate the downhill slide of the Veterans Administration under your watch; you have lost our confidence, confidence that was freely given to you when you accepted this job, a confidence that at this point is nearly impossible to win back.

    Do the right thing Sir; it’s time to leave.

  46. Jeff Sanders says:

    I am very pleased with the care I receive from the VA at their Bloomington (IN) Outpatient Clinic and at the Indianapolis VA Hospital. I am diabetic, have had heart surgery (not at the VA), and have congestive heart failure. I have a bi-ventricular defibrillator (courtesy of the VA), and have some of the best cardiologists and general practitioner doctors I’ve ever seen, and I was stationed at a very fine Army hospital prior to my leaving the service. I’m Agent Orange disabled. I also go to a “civilian” doctor, primarily for my diabetes, and also simply because he is close, and has been my doctor for 25+ years. The VA takes care of my prescriptions promptly, checks on my well-being by telephone, and, in general is just GREAT!
    The only problem that I have is the distance to go for care (50 miles to the clinic, and 100 miles to the hospital), but that is because of my own decision to live in a low-population rural area. I am pleased with the efforts so far to improve the “system”, and am sure that progress will continue to be made.

  47. Dan Flynn says:

    First, I am happy to see they are permitting comments which reflect the real life experiences veterans are having with the VA. Negative comments (in the VA’s view) on this blog are moderated and rarely published.

    As a Vietnam vet who is 100% disabled from a laundry list of issues, I have learned one thing when it comes to VA care. In fact, one of the few good doctors I had gave me the advice. Simply, “The squeaky wheel gets oiled.”

    If you have a serious medical issue, or are in pain or you need an operation, go to the Emergency Department. Go everyday if you can. Don’t take no for an answer if you are in pain. I went to the ER 8 times in 4 weeks. Finally I was properly diagnosed. The doctor that operated said, “it is a good thing you kept coming back, you would have died.”

    For those having an current issue, I would print this article out and take it to my VA and demand they follow the directive. In fact, I am printing it out and bringing it with me Friday to an appointment.

    • I’ve done 2 tours, ARMY (81-88)ARNG/ARSV 90-94/VA HEALTHCARE 93-07; AND NOTHING HAS CHANGED..HIGH RANKING OFFICERS GET THE WORK DONE, WHILE THE LOW RANKING GET 0,..I HAVE FOUGHT SINCE 2002′(12YR) AND ALL I GET IS BS..SAN DIEGO VA.,TAMPA,FL..YOU HAVE TO GET A LAWYER…AND FIGHT…I HAD TO USE JAG JUST TO SEE MY SON…SO GOOD LUCK AND I CAN’T WAIT TIL OB GETS OUT OF OFFICE!

  48. Hermon says:

    Gee, it seems as if nobody is talking about the underlying problem. That is there are more veterans seeking healthcare than there are healthcare providers. Each VA seems to have a bunch of admin folks, but when it comes to getting healthcare providers, its always “we don’t have the budget to hire more healthcare providers.” Besides what specialist or primary care provider would want to give a up a thriving private practice to come work for the VA? Maybe the American Legion can recruit some of their members who are healthcare providers to give up their private practices to come work for the VA. What is going to happen though is that Congress is going to mandate that the VA healthcare providers are going to be required to cut down their appointment length to 10 minutes per patient and 15 minutes per medical procedure.

  49. Their are good doctors I had one he retired. Their are some good clinics its general care given to the veterans for health care last night hell night I was ready cut my leg off so much pain their it hits me all one time. Were is the president 800 number for us vets tell the president the real truth what va is doing for health care . va hospital not letting no one on out what really happen. Were are the TV news asking the vets ? It all one sided we need voice our feeling what happening for real. I’m a 100% disable vet head injury 1977.

  50. morgen says:

    The VA is a damn joke! Madison Wisconsin vets suffer in pain all the time with no help screw the VA & the government the USA is packed full of lies and broken promises.

  51. ERROL R. BRUMM says:

    And if you have already taken steps to acquire care because of the medication mess created by Nurse Practitioners playing Doctor? Who attempted to medicate you after a 20minute appointment and take away your med you have been taking for 16 years ? Causing a Emergency room run by ambulance due to Coronary artery Vaso Spasm from your Anxiety attack which you are diagnosed with by your civilian Doctor who had been following you for over 3 years. Because you were screwed up prior by same Nurse Practitioner and filed a IG Complaint. When brought to their attention I was ignored. I am 50% for MDD / PTSD with anxiety and panic attacks. Retaliation is what I expect. I’m 70 years old Thank you VA !! My total is 60%. My appeals for other claims prior were closed by some unknown individual and that is all I can find out after 4 years. Seems after telling me my State Rep Mysteriously Retired when he sent me a copy of the document withdrawing the appeal. Not my writing.
    No thank you VA. I still see a counselor only at VA clinic and am certain that will fall apart soon. Happy I have my civilian care Psychologist who is contracted by the local DOD hospital and VA to handle both active duty and retired PTSD overload.
    VA is vindictive. Phoenix you killed my Dad 1990 with aids tainted blood. Things happen but we were further along than that in testing in 1990. I could write a Horror Story about my experiences with the VA. System . Generally the people are caring .

  52. It’s all about money.There is plenty of it.Sitting in offshore banks,tax free.When will it register with some of you that the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.

  53. Roger Aulds says:

    I am a vet with a 60% service connected disability. I am lucky I have medicare and tri care for life If i did not have this backup I would never get to see a primary care doctor. The local VA health care in east Tucson Ariz is using telephone appointments. what can you do over the phone. am taking shots every 3 weeks My VA clinic will not administer them . They attempted to teach my wife to give them to me .hat did not work I am currently receiving shots given by my civilian doctor’s office or i would have to other options that that I get a severe skin rash when using.. if had depended on VA to deal with my hart problems I would be dead. Thank god for my civilian hart doctor . I have a pase maker and doing well I can get into see my civilian doctors in under two weeks . So much for free health care though the VA.

  54. Ron Jones says:

    While we are at all these investigations, why don’t you invistigate the VA Benefits Office in St Petersburg, FL. I a Vietnam Veteran have been working with a korean veteran and filed a claim for PTSD and cold injuries sing 8/30/2010. He finally after 3 years received 80% for both claims. I recently file for unemployability for him in February 2014, 3 days after they granted his cold injuries clain. Now they are sending him back to 2 more C&P examinations for an extra-schedular decision. I have never heard of a C&P examination to determine unemployability. This veteran is now 80. How much longer is it going to take. As a retired GS-12 with the Veterans Affairs this is ludicrous. How many veterans have died waiting on their claims, probably more than waiting for appointments. Both issues are a disgrace.

  55. Jim T. says:

    I am grateful for my VA healthcare. I had an aortic valve replacement on May 2, 2014 done at Ralph H. Johnson VAMC in Charleston, S.C. Had to travel over 200 miles to get there but worth it. Surgeons were from the Medical University of South Carolina. Entire staff was great. I saw my cardiologist at Dorn VAMC in Columbia, S.C. on March 25, 2014 and he determined that it was time to get the problem fixed. He sent echo and exam reports to the doctors at MUSC. They contacted me right away and told me to come in on April 10 and 11 for catherterization, and other tests. They then scheduled me to come back on May 1, 2014 for labs and they did the surgery @ 0645 on May 2, 2014. They had me up and walking the next day and released me from the hospital on May 6, 2014. I was back for a recheck on May 21, 2014 and everything is fine. I am grateful. Thanks to the surgeons and staff at VAMC in Charleston.

  56. D.R. Betts says:

    Returned from Tx to Ca. When I finally got an appt. @ Mather Field, was told by PCP I had angina, emphysema, & was NEVER prescribed morphine. Realized later that was my FATHER’S record, not mine. Have been on morphine for 10 yrs, have 100% pension, but was denied. So, went Cold Turkey @ home, which was hell. Currently undergoing benzodiazipam withdrawal because when I call for appt. @ Mental Health, am told they ”can’t hear me,” after which they hang up. They’re lying, 2 calls to TX went fine, same day. Have tried repeatly to make appt., w/same results. Have serious mental issues, need refills ASAP. Guess I’m just SOL.

  57. Leonard P says:

    If it hadn’t been for the VA here in Phoneix on May 20,1999 when I walked into the emergency room and told them I think I broke my neck, from a bike accident that morning, but due to my USAF medical training, I slipped a foam collar around my neck, and KNEW NOT to turn my head. They x-rayed my neck, I had fractured cervical 1 AND 2 and vertebra, and was immediately sedated, and woke up the next morning wearing the “crown of thorns” Brace for the next 12 weeks. I was grateful that they acted on my behalf, or I KNOW I would have been a quadra-paligic. On another occasion years later I FRACTURED my right wrist, but this time I was not so lucky. A resident Dr. said it was a sprained wrist and made a cast for the wrist. I went back a few month later and Actually SAW my DR. and he said it was broken, and scheduled me to have it re-broken, re-aligned and I was on the mend. I also had cataract surgery on both my eyes, and the VA took care of the whole process. I am grateful. It can be hit and miss when you go to the VA Hospital, but I am grateful overall. I do wish I could actually get into see my primary care Dr. with a shorter waiting period.

  58. John Smithson says:

    I’ve used the VA for my healthcare for over 10 years now and have found it the best in the state! West Virginia has a great system which I have nothing but praise!

    I’ve always been treated promptly, professionally, and courteously. NO complaints at all. The VA in West Virginia is the very best!

  59. Tabe L Hence says:

    Looking for a comment from the VA regarding my claim for Individual unemployability.I put the claim in July 9 2013. I am currently at 80% service connected.

  60. Jim that great I had it done in 2001 be ready to be a clock if they put in microvole it doing wonder and I bet u feel u have more energy know

  61. Bob Greenwood says:

    I have always heard of the poor quality of care, service and even the state of repair of VA Medical Centers, especially in the northeast. My experiences at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC, Charleston, SC and the Goose Creek Primary Care Clinic have been excellent to outstanding. The professionalism and care I have received from VA employees, bottom to top, have been excellent to outstanding. Perhaps these facilities might be used as a template for improving the facilities being critiqued in the earlier comments.

  62. wilbur wlliams says:

    I went for a physical last month. And the doctor did nothing . No xray. No blood work. Not even listened to my heart or checked my pulse.

  63. U know I’m a 100% veteran and my doc rtiered fed 14 after those pa nurses cancel my Pa n meds narcotics for burn . nonstop battle with pa s and doctors what give me antidepressant drugs Dont do shit other give more problems . I believe their memo to docs no narcotics given out unless it a antidepressant drug gadpentin only drug it nasty side effect take 3-4 month do anything within the body. Va Does not care for our vet madison and tomah wi . I keep fighting 2 opinion I would have pay for. Why ?
    Pat jahnke

  64. I feel ALL veteran in All States need a day of protest so congress and our senators we mean we all need equal treatment timely fashion. And give back our narcotic with nonstop pain!!