VA War Stories and a Kind Patriotic Heart

VA War Stories and a Kind Patriotic Heart

The very thought that our veterans, the men and women that fought for our freedoms, are now being mistreated, is abhorrent.  How could we have known, though?  We’ve seen the commercials on TV for the Wounded Warrior Project, the beautiful facilities, the stories of those brave men that came back as amputees and the strides they have made.  Never once did anyone say, I wish I would have-could have-if only… I could have gotten an appointment.  So the question begging to be asked here is, are those left behind, left behind by design?  What is the VA’s game?  Bonuses, a lucrative union contract, knocking off by 3pm?  Whatever it is, I don’t like it.

Since the Arizona VA story broke there have been many more stories.  The Wall Street Journal ran one from Dr. Hal Scherz on Tuesday.  He explains how of the 153 VA hospitals, most of them are affiliated with Medical schools, and are an integral part of a physician’s education. These physicians have first-hand knowledge of the abuses, bureaucracy, and mismanagement of the VA.  Worst of all, they know the futility of trying to fight for their patients, as they are met with the fiercest of resistance.  Dr. Scherz goes on to give examples:

Most doctors have their personal VA stories. In my experience at VA hospitals in San Antonio and San Diego, patients were seen in clinics that were understaffed and overscheduled. Appointments for X-rays and other tests had to be scheduled months in advance, and longer for surgery. Hospital administrators limited operating time, making sure that work stopped by 3 p.m. Consequently, the physician in charge kept a list of patients who needed surgery and rationed the available slots to those with the most urgent problems.

Scott Barbour, an orthopedic surgeon and a friend, trained at the Miami VA hospital. In an attempt to get more patients onto the operating-room schedule, he enlisted fellow residents to clean the operating rooms between cases and transport patients from their rooms into the surgical suites. Instead of offering praise for their industriousness, the chief of surgery reprimanded the doctors and put a stop to their actions. From his perspective, they were not solving a problem but were making federal workers look bad, and creating more work for others, like nurses, who had to take care of more post-op patients.

Rationing care.  Making federal workers look bad.  Creating more work for others.  Instead of being praised for innovative thinking, cleaning the ORs themselves and seeing more patients, they were chastised and told to stop doing their jobs so effectively.  Does that make sense to you?  Now look at the mess they are in because innovative thinking isn’t allowed, and making federal workers look bad is taboo.  The end result is waiting for months or death, whichever comes first for that appointment. And let us not forget they also could have implemented Non-VA Care. Long wait times are included in that criteria, but that bonus sure will be nice.

My friend Dr. Kris Held has been working diligently against Obamacare from the beginning (you can see her here on Neil Cavuto), so I wasn’t surprised – just so very proud – when she made this announcement on her Facebook page on Memorial Day.

If you are a south Texas veteran who cannot access the VA for needed eye surgery or ophthalmic or visual problems, please Friend me on Facebook and message me, call my office at 210-490-6759, or contact me at I cannot sit by while our brave men and women lose vision, stroke or worse waiting on some secret list. This is on my heart. I’m not worthy but humbled to care for you great Americans.
I don’t know the extent of the access problem in South Texas, but I’ll just start and end each clinic serving a vet who cannot get the medical care they need at the VA.
I can see someone at 7:45 tomorrow morning- just let me know.
I believe in the Hippocratic Oath and that all patient info is 100% sacred and private.
We got this!
In honor of those who went before us.

Kris is a beacon of light and I have a feeling she will inspire a few more physicians who will follow suit. We have roughly 690,000 physicians.  Hopefully more will follow Kris’ lead – at least those that aren’t bound by the constraints of Obamacare.

And a message to those that want to model our healthcare system after the VA.  Pffft.  The VA is what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and put it between the patient and their doctor. 

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