Friday, April 25, 2014

There Might Be Firings But I Bet VA Hospital Staffers Won't Be Charged With What Seems Like Murder

CNN and other media outlets have been investigating delays in Veterans Administration appointments and hospitalizations for veterans that have led to needless deaths.
Did the VA hospital in Phoenix delay or deny
care to veterans?  

Their report this week on a Phoenix, Arizona really takes the cake. Lots of politicians say veterans deserve all the help they can get, they served our country and they deserve the utmost respect.

But when it comes to shelling out money to offer that respect and service to veterans, it all goes out the window.

In Phoenix, according to CNN reporters Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, along with Anderson Cooper, the VA hospital had two lists: An official one that falsely reported to Washington DC headquarters that veterans were being treated, and a second secret list that was the truth.

The truth being they were making veterans wait weeks and months to get an appointments to see doctors. Sometimes for really scary medical problems. It's estimated 40 veterans died because the Phoenix VA hospital basically blew them off.

It's kind of murky why, but I suspect lack of resources and money going to the hospital from the federal government played a part.

They're doing this to veterans, people!

According to CNN, Sam Foote, a doctor who recently retired from the hospital described the scheme:

"The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients i a timely manner, typically with 14 to 30 days, Foote said

According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor's appointments for veterans within the computer system. 

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, 'they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there's no record that you were ever here,' he said.

Now that this situation has been made public, there are the usual calls for investigations and hearings. The inspector general is involved, officials at the Phoenix VA hospital are frantically giving out non-information in Corporate Speak and lawmakers are calling for heads to roll.

That's all very good, these investigations.

But it makes you wonder how the people who are supposed to be taking care of veterans everywhere else are actually doing so.  There have already been many, many reports of severe delays in getting health care to veterans. 

Of all the people we owe top notch care, to, it's veterans.  But since a lot of veterans don't have millions of dollars available to lobby politicians, I guess they're not that important.

If that's true, I'm sad.  Get rich and you get what you want. Make big sacrifices for your country and get thrown away?  That's not the country I want to see.

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