The Veteran’s Administration has been under fire for the last few years, but big changes for veteran care in 2016 will have a profound impact on 2017 and in more years to come.
The deficiencies in the care for veterans by these VA appointed facilities has left veterans and their caregivers wondering if there is hope for them going forward. While the need to get care is important after combat, those who have not been in combat still deserve to maintain their clean bill of health too.
All veterans should matter is the resounding mantra, but its unknown whether or not the folks in Washington are really listening? It’s apparent that there are numerous deficiencies across the country, but some specific examples have been pointed out. Most of them are sadly pointing to suicides that occurred as the veterans were turned away at the VA emergency room when they needed assistance in their struggle with PTSD.
This year, the plea for a better system came in the form of a proposal written for a linkup of private and public healthcare centers. Will it work? While it still isn’t clear exactly how this will work, there are a few simple facts I can share with you to help you understand what has changed, and what could happen going forward.
Understanding New Changes for Veteran Care
It’s astonishing that some VA facilities had to be closed because they were so poorly managed and in such bad shape.
There has been a two year review going on, that has reviewed the care being given at VA centers, as well as a full report given to the Whitehouse from The Commission on Care. The assessment was nearly 300 pages, and not only were some centers closed, but there were some facilities that were also modernized.
Sadly, this has been the case for far too long. The proposal for changes in veteran care includes a new system in which the public and private healthcare sectors come together.
The new system states that veterans can see a credentialed primary care provider, but why wouldn’t a VA doctor have enough credentials in order to work in the hospital in the first place? This leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling that care is being assessed improperly, and there is a fear that veterans have been getting prescriptions that don’t quite suit their needs.
This is frightening at best.
There are now no limitations like the 30-mile distance rule, meaning that if veterans need to see someone much further from where they live, they are now able to do so.
The 30 day waiting period that veterans had with the Veteran’s Choice program is now gone as well. This means that veterans can make an appointment when it’s needed most.
The fact that any veteran has to wait to be seen makes no sense. As a veteran, I can assure you that everyone encounters pressing needs at some point. The ability for most to call up a doctor’s office and say that they have an urgent issue should be all that is needed for a nurse to say, “We’ll work you in”.
Isn’t that what medical care is all about? Especially when it’s urgent?
Furthermore, why are veterans still being denied treatment at the emergency room? Recently, a 76 year old veterans was denied treatment at his VA facility. As a result, he committed suicide. Losing one means we are losing one too many.
No one should feel that they need to take their life because they can’t get the proper medical care. Veterans are still not getting the care they need, and they aren’t getting it at the right time.
There is still much to do. Would you agree?
Many leaders have left with no replacement within these facilities because the problems are so frequent and the lack of leadership leaves the VA wondering if things will ever get better.
To those employees, nurses and doctors that show love to our veterans we thank you. You are appreciated and valued more than you know.
This is why it’s important that you understand how changes in veteran care work, because right now there are still too many loose ends to tie up.
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