Wounded Times

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Monday, January 7, 2013

VA doesn't know if it has enough staff to serve vets

This is a huge problem. I received an email from a wife of a veteran with PTSD. He had not been given enough medication but as bad as that was, the doctor he had was transferred and the doctor replacing him wanted to see her husband first before giving him more. The problem was, he couldn't get him an appointment soon enough.

We talk about the delay in processing claims. We talk about the delay in processing appeals. What we don't talk about is what this does to our veterans and their families.

The extra stress of fighting the VA for what veterans earned serving this country makes their overall health worse. When they are living with PTSD, it gets worse, not just because it prolongs help but they feel pushed away from it after advocates talked them into going.
Despite legal requirement, VA doesn't know if it has enough staff to serve vets
Watchdog report is latest in long line critical of the VA's staffing evaluations
Washington Guardian
BY PHILLIP SWARTS
JANUARY 5, 2013

The Veterans Affairs Department doesn't know whether it has enough staff at its medical facilities to give veterans the quality care they need, failing to comply with a decade-old law despite several prior warnings, the agency's internal watchdog has concluded.

A January 2002 law "mandated that VA establish a nationwide policy to ensure medical facilities have adequate staff to provide appropriate, high-quality care and services" but the agency "did not have an effective staffing methodology to ensure appropriate staffing levels for specialty care services," the VA inspector general reported Thursday.

Specifically, inspectors found that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hadn't developed staffing guidelines for 31 of its specialty care services.

"As a result, VHA’s lack of productivity standards and staffing plans limit the ability of medical facility officials to make informed business decisions on the appropriate number of specialty physicians to meet patient care needs, such as access and quality of care," the report said.

The critical review comes at a time when many veterans are facing growing delays to receive their medical treatment. The Washington Guardian previously reported that wait times at some medical centers are reaching 10 hours.
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