Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Bureaucrats, are quite predictable. Where you and I might think in terms of what works, they don't do that. Getting results ranks way behind practical solutions. They find ways to dodge the issue.

Such has been the case with the VA. I get all of my medical care through them which is appreciated. Also, at the treatment level, none can compare. But the leaders, those high on the wage scale, can't seem to find their butts with both hands.

Take the new mileage rule that straightens out the distance that a vet has to travel to a VA facility. If it is more than 40 miles the veteran can ask for, and receive treatment in their own community with prior approval.

There are examples. Yesterday I drove to Spokane because my podiatrist (foot doctor) is there. My treatments every 90 days consist of finding ways to live with toe nail fungus. This involves very careful trimming of the nails. When I did it myself I sometimes got part of the toe, after which  I let the  doctor do it.

All was fine until I got ready to leave at which point he said I can no longer treat you because I'm running 90 days between appointments, so the hierarchy has limited me to only serious cases. The moral here.s rather than increase staff, and they can't seem to do it, they decrease treatment. That is their answer to delayed service. Delete the care and the waiting list goes away.

Another example, I noticed signs all of the facility stating that the emergency room will now be called "Urgent Care," the hours from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. No ambulance patients will be accepted. So rather than hire more ET doctors, which are underpaid, they cut service. There seems to be a pattern here.

Then there was the ER doctor that was discovered as a Pedophile and recently stripped of his license. He hasn't been, or can't be replaced. Ergo, reduce the need for a new doctor. So now we do not have 24 hour emergency room service, which reduces the chance of an emergency patient dying while looking for a place to put him. Many of you will remember the elderly guy who when arriving at the VA, had to be removed by an ambulance and taken to another facility because the ER had closed at 5:00pm.

The bottom line here is the higher management after firing lower management for making patients wait to long, is reducing services so that they can't be blamed for long waits. Government workers appear to have a talent for violating the spirit, if not the actual rule. Anyone want to guess whether this reaches the news media or whether they will publish it?  Everyone hears of the revolutionary changes that have taken place since a new director was hired, but without follow up, it won't be found that the changes amount to a shell game.

With thousands of vets from Iraq and Afghanistan returning with physical and mental disabilities, the system is overloaded and will not be fixed with band aids. Instead of congress throwing money at the problem, perhaps they ought to find out where it is going and how it is being used. I would much rather have them pay for a couple of doctors, rather than have higher management scarfing up the money on (non) performance bonuses.

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