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Statement from Acting VA Secretary Gibson

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson has issued the following statement to America's veterans:

Not all Veterans are getting the timely access to the healthcare that they have earned. Systemic problems in scheduling processes have been exacerbated by leadership failures and ethical lapses. I will use all available authority to swiftly and decisively address issues of willful misconduct or mismanagement.

VA’s first priority is to get all Veterans off waiting lists and into clinics while we address the underlying issues that have been impeding Veterans’ access to healthcare. The President has made clear that this is his expectation.

Even as we implement these immediate actions, we will work with

Veterans Service Organizations, members of Congress, academia, public and private organizations, and with all other agencies and institutions that can help us move forward.

We will also continue to depend on the faithful service of VA employees and leaders who place the interests of Veterans above their own, those who serve Veterans with dignity, compassion, and dedication, and who live by VA’s core values: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence.

Finally, as we accelerate our access to care, we will not lose sight of the fact that the quality of VA healthcare remains strong. Ten years of

external validations have consistently shown that, on average, veterans who use VA healthcare rate our hospitals and clinics as high or higher in customer satisfaction than patients give most of the Nation’s private sector hospitals.

On behalf of all Veterans, I express my appreciation to Secretary Shinseki for his leadership of VA. For decades to come, Veterans will benefit from the transformation begun in the past five years.

Thank you for your support and dedication to Veterans and our mission to serve.

More in Veterans Health Center

 

SGT JOHN T

June 16, 2014 - 8:39pm

Well Secretary Gibson, I tracked my letter to your office in D.C. I hope you don't trash it like the other Secretary did of my last 5 letters. Which explains for the last 6 years till present about the Tucson VA. Clinics, and Phoenix Ratings Office. The Army cut out some growths behind my right ear, and said if it comes back to immediately call the VA and get in ASAP for it could be skin cancer. I called last week and the guy at the desk stated its not my time yet for an appointment. I asked, when is it my damn time? Because I hadn't been seen in a year now. Then he tells me today that the Doctor stated I'm just a routine appointment and he'll see you in 6 weeks from the 6th of June. I have so many messages left on my cell phone by this clinic that will make you sick. I have recorded conversations that will make any news agency richer in ratings and more heads rolling within the VA. I'll just wait for the right "Political Moment" to release this. Or maybe the F.B.I. would like to have it all. Unfair Ratings, Piss Poor Health Care, Unprofessional Staff, and they treat me like branded cattle. Yet, on a good note we are good ole boys when we serve our country. However, get injured the Veterans Administration looses site of care and all they see are $$$$ Dollar signs and Bonuses.

Michael Burnett

June 6, 2014 - 10:51am

I am sorry to see that all veterans are not being treated as they should be. I have, and continue to receive, excellent care at the Reno, Nevada VAMC. I was previously treated at the Santa Rosa Clinic and the San Francisco VAMC, again with outstanding care. Maybe, these facilities should be copied nationally.

Patrick A. Costley-MSGT (RET)

June 6, 2014 - 8:04am

I have been reading about these "waiting lists" for treatment at VA medical facilities. I have experienced this "healthcare system" first hand, and would like to relate a few of my run ins with gov't drs. First for my "free dental", I started with 23 teeth in my mouth, the "drs", and I use that term loosely drilled out part of the decay in my teeth and filled in on top of it. It has cost almost $20K to fix this problem by having all of my root canaled, posted and capped. I was involved in a truck accident in Ft Carson Colorado back in 1980, through no fault of my own and had my skull replaced with metal, my sinuses removed, a piece of my brain removed because of a blood clot, and my optic nerve on my right eye partially torn off. I was told by the army dr that saw me, "we hoped that wouldn't have happened". Then sent me on my way with no treatment of any kind. I told the VA "DRs" about this and they told me that it is something that happens naturally. That is biggest pile of bullshit that I have ever heard. So I have had to spend at least $25k of my own money to fix something that the VA should have taken the lead for but were too busy cooking their books so they could get their dam bonuses. Lastly, I live outside Chicago, IL and have the occasion to visit the VA health care facility in Elgin, IL. They have a Dr. Ragu there, and this lady has no business practicing medicine on veterans because she does not have a clue as to what she is doing. She is of Indian decent. She told me that drinking milk is not good for you and that she had a pill that would be better for me. I started to take her dam pills and my shoulders, hips and knees started to hurt. I threw those pills in the garbage can where they belong and went back to drinking milk, no more pain. If milk is not good for you, I would like to know what we have been feeding our kids for the last 1 million years, it sure as hell was not a pill. I went to Hines hospital to complain about this person and the person that I talked to told me there was nothing he could do for me. I got myself a new dr at this facility a "Dr. Ojueda", also an Indian. I went to see her and she's trying to tell me that I have Diabetes. Now there was no blood test or tests of any kind performed on me to give them any information about what is going on in my body. I am not a prejudicial person, but these people should be sent back to India, where they can live in their slums, worship their cows and starve. Cows were put on this earth for only one reason, and that is to be ate not worshipped.

Henry M. Brodersen

June 5, 2014 - 9:42pm

Add the Delaware V.A. to the list of:'you do not have an appointment." So they schedule you again 41/2 later. So you get to see a doctor every 10 to 11 months. Some of the folks working at the Wilmington V.A. treat you with respect. The younger employees treat you like dirt. Same at the Georgetown clinic.

Anonymous

June 5, 2014 - 8:18pm

As we all know "talk is CHEAP".Actions are LOUDER.-----WELL

Mike Buchanan

June 5, 2014 - 8:13pm

It saddens me to hear of what has been reported about some of our VA facilities. If it is all true, this is even sadder and not something that our great nation can be proud of. In no way should the entire VA Administration be tarred with the "bad brush" that some reportedly have been. I have personally received Excellent care and attention from both my local Santa Rosa , Ca. VA clinic and the San Francisco VA hospital over the past several years. I hope someday very soon that all Veterans can say that about their VA facilities.

Daniel E.

June 5, 2014 - 6:14pm

Rated at 70%, I have nothing but praise for the Portland Oregon VA. Five years ago, I was desperate and literally at the end of my rope. For me death was the only way out. With the unbridled help of the VA, I received help and continue to this day. I can remember the horrorstoriesof dilapidated facilities, outdated care, etc. With the changes brought on by presidents Bush and Obama, much has improved. There is still along way to go. I understand that. I am still having issues with Comp and Pen, however the medical care has been superb. Thank you America, for saving my life.

Lloyd Banfield

June 5, 2014 - 5:37pm

T was turned down because they said I made too much money and now that I'm retired they won't talk to me. They don't return calls that I made to request the form to change earnings and to have them re-asses my eligibility. Served during Vietnam era in the Navy.

Larry M ( combat medic)

June 5, 2014 - 4:55pm

I do not care what is being said, it is all BS. The VA, AL and congress, will lie, will hold meetings, hearings and continue to do nothing. It is about money, of which there is none. We are borrowing money to pay for everything this country does and there is not enough to go around. Veterans are past tense, service done, just an expense with no roi. I am waiting two years for disability review, not a word. ALSO says nothing can be done, just wait. Of course he continues to draw a pay check with our dues. I am Viet Nam, service connected disability,cannot work. Waiting waiting waiting, VA can now say; to old to work don't have to pay. Not bitter, just saying. Of course I could be wrong.

EC-47

June 5, 2014 - 3:59pm

Nothing will change until they discontinue awarding "bonuses" to managers. Bonus is the root cause of the "cooking the books". Why the hell should a employee get a bonus for doing what they were hired to do. If they are outstanding then promote and award them with a pay raise. Cheating and getting a bonus is pure lunacy. I worked for major company and for outstanding work I was awarded pay raises. My accomplishments were verified before I got a pay raise.

cowboyup

June 4, 2014 - 5:43pm

And still no response from VA Administration in D.C. Hq. 5 letters written and still no response

cowboyup

June 4, 2014 - 4:08pm

Well hell, I still have not received any response on how Phoenix Ratings Office is treating me. No response yet from Commander Dellinger of American Legion Hq.

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