Veterans scramble for care,

  1. <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">I wanted to cry today while reading the latest on the scandal regarding the hardships some of the returning soldiers and their families are going through.
    It is particularily sad when reading the lack of care, progressive therapy, and indeed, total disregard concerning the TBI soldiers. What their families and many others suffer along with the injured military men and women is disgraceful. This country owes these veterans our best, there should be no question as to what should be done. I am gratified that so many spouses are attempting to learn how to navigate and advocate for their injured loved one. Indeed, if the VA system says "NO" and it is an acceptable, proven, but often private treatment used in medical centers and rehab facilities around the country, then the spouses should continue to fight to have their loved one transfered to that facility. I shudder to think of how low the system has sank. I remember when several veteran family members were so proud to be in the system, getting some of the best care available in the different centers from California to Florida. One uncle would always show us his new leg and beam because it was somehow a reinforcement of how his country recognized and appreciated his loss while defending it in WWII. One uncle has a hand that was given radical plastic surgery after Korea, radical at the time that is, and he was able to make a living with that scarred but attached hand. Sorry for the rant, but I really think we need to take care of our own injured before being so ready to take care of those who hate us and want to see us destroyed.
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    About gitterbug

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 557; Likes: 47

    13 Comments

  3. by   grammyr
    Funny you should start this thread today of all days. Have a patient at my facility(non VA) who needs an appointment for followup with his pcp at the VA closest to us. As discharge planner, I call to make the appointment for him and am met with one of the rudest humans I have ever encountered who refused to make the appt. for me stating that the veteran had to call himself. After reporting this jackass to the patient advocate, she spoke with the pcp and was told for me to fax pertinent information to him and he would call with instructions. I did this about noon, and when I left at 415 still no call. While most patients do call for their appointments, I wanted to make sure that this man got an appointment in a reasonable amount of time, not 6months or a year down the road..

    On the flip side, my husband is a 100% service connected vet and has never had a problem with appointments or anything. He only has to call and sometimes he can speak directly with his MD or the nurse.

    It should be a crime for the people who fought so hard for us to be treated this way by people who are supposed to care!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe when the dust settles at Walter Reed things will be better for all vets
  4. by   gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Thank you for taking the time to post. I was again reading and saw where the system has not been able to deal with the sheer number of PTS patients, especially the young ones. How can we put guns into the hands of young men and women, order them to "protect at any cost" a certain area, and not expect them to suffer mentally when they are forced to do something they were taught was morally wrong? Even in clear cut circumstances, many life hardened individuals have stress and anxiety issues. I just keep thinking, if we don't attempt to recognize and fix many of the problems the VA is having, we can only see more of our veterans suffer and even die needlessly.
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  5. by   Simplepleasures
    This administration has put our military members in harms way, then "rewarded" them in such a dispicable manner,it boggles the mind and breaks my heart. My daughter is in the Navy and one day will be a veteran, I hope and pray that those in the seat of power get SO much flak from the public that something will FINALLY be done.Veterans should NEVER have been put in this position, what went wrong? I have my own opinions on that , but what is more IMPORTANT now is that things IMPROVE.
  6. by   gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">I wish I could say all I have been called is liberal, radical, and fanatical.
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  7. by   Lacie
    As a vet myself (vietnam era) and not only a nurse but am a pt in the VA system due to service connected disability. The problems being seen now have been going on for longer then most people even have a clue about but it hasnt been recognized until the system finally has become so overwhelmed with returning wounded vets from this senseless campaign. I have had to have 3 surgeries on my knees and the last two they told me I had a year waiting list just to get an MRI!! Then another year for the surgery as they lacked the orthopedic surgeons at the VA Hospital in Gainesville to do any sooner. Most vets dont know they can request care and infact "demand" care on a "fee-basis" with outside providers. After I was notified of the waiting time I made call after call and even contacted my state representatives. It took me less than 2 weeks to get an appt scheduled locally with a non-va provider and also get the surgery I needed at the VA's expense. I know this doesnt work all the time but more and more families of these services members need to stand out and really make thier voices heard. Too much is being put on the back burner with the excuse they are "overwhelmed" but they have used this excuse since the 70's surprisingly just it wasnt so publically heard until now. The entire VA system needs to be evaluated and reconstructed. Too many of our returning men and women will be and are now falling through the cracks of the current system. Many of those returning without service connected injuries will also be seeking out the VA system for health care when they are unable to provide private insurance for thier health care also. Consider this if you are a honorably discharged vet with no service connected disability you are still eligible for full medical care through the VA. Many of the Vietnam and WWII vets who cant afford current coverage also are using this system for routine care and for illness. More involvement of the private sector needs to be pursued rather than keeping it only in the VA arena.
  8. by   wtbcrna
    I am active-duty and had to do manning assist at the local VA hospital in early 2006. I can truthfully tell you it is one of the most screwed up systems I have ever seen! I also think that one of the biggest problem is the GS/WS system for employees. The employees have been there so long and they think the system is there for them not the patients.
    It takes approximately 6mo to get into a PCM as new patient at this VA, and the only care you can get direct access to is the VA ER while waiting to be assigned to your PCM.
    I personally would get rid of WS workers and contract it out and would seriously limit the amount of GS workers. There are some great employees in the VA system, but there are way too many that are just doing their time waiting on retirement.
    My plan:
    Eliminate thru attrition virtually all WS postitions and greatly reduce GS positions.
    Have most PCM visits contracted thru the local communities, and save the VA for speciality care...rehab, OT/PT/ST, Orthotics, Prosthetics, inpatient care, major surgeries etc.
    The VA is just too large and inflexible of system. It doesn't adapt well and the WS/GS system lets people hide in a system where anywhere else those same people would have been fired long ago.

    As it stands I never want to receive care from the VA system. I will hopefully retire and never have to deal with the VA system.
  9. by   gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">I was speaking to my neighbor yesterday at the post office regarding this issue. He is a Nam vet, retired after 22 years active duty. He told me his brother and several other guys he is in contact with are considering moving back here, or to Virginia, southern Ohio, just to be able to access their VA care. He is happy with the care he is offered here, says he can see his doc in a quicker manner than his brother and can be sent to many of the local facilities for services they wait weeks and months for. I know my SIL moved his parents here and his father died in a VA nursing home in NH after being denied essential care in Fla. for years. My SIL was astonished at how swiftly his father was gotten into the system, given tests, meds, and set up for services with an agency that works with the family to seek out ways to cope with terminal illness after the way his father was neglected in Fla. I know our vets are very active in the local area, very vocal regarding their services, and get care at 2 local facilities that work with the VA. I know 3 medical schools here work closely with the VA and that gives the vets a way into the larger clinics at these facilities. I just hate it that some vets are having to make changes more related to where they can get care than why the care is needed. A friend of mine in Mississippi says he is feeling the pressure of vets moving to his area from Texas. Yes, even after the mess from the storm they are better served in Mississippi than Texas. I agree that many people just hang in there with government jobs and do not seem to care how they do those jobs. That is human nature, most of us do not do our best when we are not forced to do our best, but I am still angry, sad, and worried that our Vets are not being treated with respect, kindness, and concern. Blessings to all and maybe a little more prayer will help move some of these mountains.
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  10. by   noggin_wise
    The VA system should be completely abolished and allow vets to seek care at there local facilities. Some vets have to travel up to several hundred miles to a VA center. Letting the vets doctor in there local communities will also bring in revenue for those areas and will allow veterans to get the kind of care they deserve rather than they care they have to put up with.
  11. by   Simplepleasures
    My brother in law died on Saturday, from complications of a rare nasal /sinus cancer related to Agent Orange exposure, when he was in Vietnam. To date his children are STILL fighting the VA to recognize that there was a direct correlation between the Agent Orange and this type of cancer, SAD hey, that is how our government has treated our soldiers.

    My nieces and nephew have asked funeral guests to make a donation to the Order of the Silver Rose,( I am NOT asking for you to make a donation here, but is worth looking at the website) so I went to their website and found this poem called The Agent.
    http://www.silverrose.info/the_agent_poem.htm
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Mar 14, '07
  12. by   gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on" width="100%"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Ingelein,
    I am sorry for your loss.
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  13. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from gitterbug
    <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" width="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">Ingelein,
    I am sorry for your loss.




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    Thanks, he was a good guy, He did come home from Vietnam with some pretty significant problems though, because of PTSD, he medicated himself with alcohol, and became an alcoholic. He did overcome this and was a great provider and darn hard worker for his family. He got this horrible rare cancer and suffered for several years, he died at home with his kids around his bed. Another victim of a life cut short by a USELESS war.
  14. by   Grace Oz
    Am sorry for your loss.
    Politicians should hang their collective heads in SHAME for the disgraceful way in which veterans are (NOT!) looked after.
    It's the same here in Australia. The lengths vets have to go to to obtain benefits, care etc, is humiliating and degrading at times. They're treated as though they are lepers and/or fraudsters.
    I'm aware some vets try to abuse and unfairly use the systems in place, but there are those who genuinely need help and are denied it.
    Here in Oz, once a vet is accepted as genuine and in need of care etc, he/she does receive reasonable benefits and health care. But, it's usually after a long drawn out exhaustive application process. Sometimes taking years!
    The way I see it, the governments treat vets with contempt.
    They deserve reverence!

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