Veterans wait for health care in
overwhelmed VA system
by MELISSA B. ROBINSON
WASHINGTON --Thousands of veterans are being turned away
from Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics because of shortages in
money and staff, a congressional panel was told Tuesday.
"People are literally waiting until someone else dies
before they can be taken care of," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn.,
chairman of the House Government subcommittee on national security,
veterans affairs and international relations.
In Connecticut, beds in the VA's acute care psychiatric
unit were slashed from over 200-30, forcing patients to wait for days
for emergency treatment, said Edmund J. Burke, coordinator of veterans
services for the state's Department of Mental Health and Addiction
A VA day program for the mentally ill has a 51 percent
staff shortage, Burke said.
In Florida, more than 42,000 veterans are on waiting
lists to see a primary care doctor, said Republican Rep. Dave Weldon.
One 80-year-old disabled veteran, who flew 69 missions
over Europe as a World War II tail gunner, was rejected by an outpatient
clinic that isn't taking any new patients, Weldon said.
To know more of what is going with
government and with our Veterans visit the links below!!
Subcommittee Hearing Schedule/Press Releases/Testimony
May 14, 2002 Hearing on: VA Health Care: Structural Problems,
Subcommittee Documents and
Veterans Affairs Issues/Gulf War Illness