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  • ilap2004 ilap2004 Aug 4, 2012 8:51 PM Flag

    Doctors' absences further prolong veterans' waits for health care


    The American Legion’s national commander visited a veterans clinic last month only to find 47 patients waiting for treatment with no doctors to see them.
    But Ronald Conley and others say the scene isn’t surprising in light of a recent discovery by the Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general: Some of the more than 5,000 physicians working part time for the government are absent for at least part of their shifts.

    “The doctors didn’t show that day,” Conley said of the VA’s investigation. And even when doctors do show up, the wait time for an appointment can be months.

    About 168,000 veterans wait at least six months to see a VA doctor, according to the department. The VA operates the nation’s largest medical care system with 163 hospitals — 102 affiliated with medical schools — and 850 clinics.

    At the end of 2001, the department had 5,129 part-time and 9,780 full-time physicians. The same year, the VA paid part-time physicians about $400 million. VA Inspector General Richard J. Griffin estimates the cost of the lost time from absent doctors at $44 million.

    The doctor problem comes at a time when the VA says it is straining to handle the 6.8 million veterans already in the system and is applying measures to cut new enrollments. It also is seeking congressional approval for a $250 enrollment fee that could force 1.25 million veterans from its system.

    “It’s definitely not good,” said Marshall Mitchell, 75, an Army veteran who waited 13 months for his first VA medical appointment in Nashville, Tenn. “Some of the veterans feel like they are being shortchanged.”

    Mitchell of Dickson, Tenn., said he jokes with a veteran friend that he is “waiting for somebody to die so I can get on.”

    VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi, who asked for the probe, said the findings are very serious.

    “When our part-time physicians are not coming to work, are not putting in the hours for which the American people are paying for them, to me, that’s unconscionable,” he said. “It’s unacceptable and it needs to change and change now.”

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    • Part of the problem is the doctor's who collect and don't show up. The other part of the problem is supply and demand, maybe if we had a few less idiotic wars designed to protect old white people's property rights (per George Carlin) we'd have shorter lines at those VA hospitals.

      ya think?

      • 1 Reply to yourdeadmeat69
      • “…maybe if we had a few less idiotic wars…”

        4 stars for your message, one more if you identified the cause.

        Central banks, and specifically the Fed, are the basis for wars. They fund them. They also fund the elections of politicians who are Fed sympathizers. (Both contenders for POTUS are in this category.) And the Fed collects the interest on the debt for whatever it is they fund.

        The bottom line…? Get rid of the Fed and “idiotic wars” will cease.

        People protested en mass during the Vietnam War. Alex Jones had the guts to protest in front of a Fed office building in Dallas, and Jesse Ventura in Minneapolis at an OWS protest. Most MSM sources point to the OWS movement as one at the far left, and concentrate on the outrageous behavior (pooping in public) of those planted to destroy the movement. But no one has checked to see how many were bent on destroying the message, this being that there is unchecked corruption in our financial markets underwritten by the Fed.

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