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The distance to health care is a big problem for those vets in rural areas. We have a CBOC 10 miles up the road, but as with all CBOCs they have no Walkin services, no emergency Service, and we get to see our doctor once a year. Other than that most CBOCs are bandaid Stations, manned by non VA personnel. For me it is a three hour drive to health care, and I have no Emergency Health care with the VA. Twice I have been sent to local Emergency rooms by VA clinics and ended up getting stuck with large emergency room charges and ambulance charges, only to have VA refuse to pay the bill. This really needs to be addressed figure a way to allow Vets to obtain medical care, especially for emergencies in local facilities that the VA will pay. I know the VA says they will pay if it is life threatening, but two times that proved untrue with me. Even though the VA arranged transportation to a VA hospital from the non VA ER, then admitted me for 6 days for arythmias, they apparently do not consider this as life threatening.
The recent hearings where Legion staff commented on less than qualified individuals working VA claims is by far the most important issue facing Vets.
The current system is overloaded with strap hangeers doing a job in which most know nothing. Just paper pushers.
As said by the Legion, we need more Vets in the VA like it was after WWII. You can't have some civilian without military service understanding Vets issues as Veterans would.
Until this is addressed, the backlogs, processing delays, mistakes, and incompetence will waste VA resources and deny Vets proper resolution of their claims.
State Government is the biggest obstacle right now..they want to to cure the budget by cutting services to all Veterans services..but business has no problems!! Remember election day is coming!!!
I am seeing a problem with a standardization of services. The care you receive in one VA can be totally different in another and I mean drastically different. As a father of a severely injured son (Iraq Veteran) and a veteran myself I am very concerned that good veteran care may be a product of your geographic location. All veterans deserve the same level of care regardless of where they live. Some of the things I have seen are frightening and I have seen some of the caregivers go above and beyond. It depends on where you live and what shift is working. The VA should take a hard look at quality of care to ensure all of the veterans are receiving the best they can get.
The V.A. is once again swamped by the infux of vetrans from the wars in the Arab countries. It happened after VietNam same as it is happening now, Just to many vets comming in needing help. Yes the appointment time is way long ,but I am hoping that soon the V.A. will catch up.
Need to do more in the mental health field.
Access in rural areas is definetly a concern, however, personally I am one of those vets who fall into catagory Eight and cannot receive health benefits. Yet, I was not asked my income when I enlisted nor when I went to the Middle East. This is not fair but Congress and the VA does not view it as a priority. My choice--the ballot box! Thank you for allowing me this space for venting my personal frustration.
Although the Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC)Program initiated in the 1990's is instrumental making VA care available to more veterans, the QUALITY of that care makes the CBOC program questionable. The VA, in these times of budget cuts, should simply cut the sub-contractors out of the CBOC program and man those clinics with VA employees.
I don't think that the VA hospitals get enough support (financial, personnel, resources, etc.) for them to be effective. All of the issues mentioned as problems are really symptoms of the lack of support. If more funds went into the VA hospitals, then they could afford more personnel, provide better programs, support more patients and provide more specialized services (such as for women). Wait times would reduce and the quality of care would improve.
In addition to more funds, the VA needs more support from political leaders. As long as it's always put on the back burner, it will never get the attention that it deserves and therefore neither will our vets.
so the va is going to start a new program to help with claims, why not just say they cant handle it , instead of new programs get the word done and not claim we have a new system so it may take a while what a crock of you know what, when the blue water navy is dead the va will say gee we tried a new system but this takes time, we were incapable of doing our jobs tough shit.
As a rural veteran that uses VA care on a regular basis I find the greatest stumbling block to receiving and maintaining proper health services is the distance rural veterans must travel to be treated. This is especially so for Emergency services. While the VA, at this time, provides transportation to and from appointments, if the bus is full you are unable to make your scheduled appointment and have to reschedule. This means a delay in obtaining VA health services, possibly for months, needed to maintain the veteran's present level of health. The distance and inability to be seen more expeditiously often results in the veteran delaying to seek VA medical assistance until a serious condition develops. This delay effects the veterans overall health and increases costs to the VA.
While I’m aware, as are all vets, of dismal waiting times found in many VAMC clinics and VA outpatient clinics, following the required “no longer than 15 minutes” wait for the official blood pressure etc. schmooze. I’m also aware that being able to arrive for treatment when scheduled, or in an emergency, is or at least should be of paramount importance. The distance for rural veterans and the lack of transportation to VA outpatient and VAMC treatment facilities often denies them scheduled treatment, let alone the inconvenience of not being seen, even close to, the scheduled appointment time.
Robert Ireland (PUFL)
Post 174 Willits, CA