Monday, August 11, 2014

Who In The VA Has The Vets' Back?

I brought my Honda in for service this morning. The car in line ahead of me had the following bumper sticker which I understand is given to donors to the Democratic National Committee.

The car was driven by a middle-aged woman who also had a VA employee parking decal for the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.

As long-time readers may know, my father was a career US Army non-com. When he was medically retired in 1972, he depended upon the VA health care system for his medical care. From what I remember, he received good care from VA hospitals in both North Carolina and Maine. I don't remember him ever speaking of having to wait to receive care.

Looking at the most current VA wait time statistics for the Charles George VA Medical Center, one sees some significant wait times especially for new patients. It takes over 31 days for a new patient to see a primary care physician/FNP/PA, 43.57 days to see a specialist, and almost 32 days to see a mental health professional. The stats are better for existing patients in that they average a week or less across the board. It could be worse as the wait times at the VA medical centers in both Durham and Fayetteville are significantly longer.

After looking at these numbers, I still am moved to ask - who has the vet's back?

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