(Washington, D.C.)— “The actions being undertaken by the Department of Veterans Affairs in response to the ongoing healthcare crisis at the VA Medical Centers are woefully inadequate,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). “As we have said since the beginning of this crisis, there are problems at most all of the 151 VA Medical Centers (VAMC) and at many of the Community Based Outreach Clinics. Though VVA sent recommendations to the President and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on May 28, we have yet to hear from The White House. We stand by our recommendations.”
To view VVA’s recommendations see: http://www.vva.org/VA_Phoenix.html
“In light of the enfolding news stories and the breadth of the VA healthcare crisis, the steps outlined by the VA in today’s press release do not address the scope and gravity of the situation. The President must ensure the availability of all the resources necessary--from the Public Health Service, FEMA, and the active duty and/or National Guard and Reserves--to be able to screen and triage veterans waiting for a first appointment. In addition, all of those trained as clinicians but now holding desk jobs must be deployed to see patients at minimum four days a week. If that means they will have to work weekends, then so be it. They are better paid than VSO and Hill staff members who are working seven days a week to help meet this crisis, and those clinicians now not doing clinical work need to do their part.
“This is an all-hands-on deck situation, and that is perhaps not grasped by all in the Executive branch. Asking VVA to meet with the Deputy Undersecretary who helped oversee the creation of this mess regarding our recommendations is simply insulting to us, to all Veterans Service Organizations, and to the veterans who are seeking and not getting proper medical care from the VA,” noted Rowan.