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Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

VA Funding is NOT the problem!

Friday, May 18th, 2007

The text of a letter sent to Senator Johnny Isakson:

Thank you for your work in obtaining $20,500,000 for the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Unfortunately, funding in not the biggest issue. I have been a patient at Atlanta VAMC for several years now, and I have over 300 pages documenting medical malpractice, disorganization, and blatant incompetence. If I didn't have a medical background, they would have already killed me several times. I also now have to bring a witness with me on every trip just to get the decent treatment and respect that all veterans deserve.

There are some good people who work there, but the majority of the employees are rude and unhelpful. You could get rid of two-thirds of the employees at Atlanta VAMC and they wouldn't be missed. There have been several occasions where I had to get my congresswoman directly involved in order to get the vital care that I need. I have worked with ALL of the patient advocates, and last week worked at the director level just to get my medications.

A huge problem the VA has is in pain management for the patients. They treat every patient as if they are a drug addict and just there trying to scam drugs. I am permanently disabled due to a muscle disease and there is no cure. Every thirty days the VA puts me through pure hell just to get my pain medication. I have experienced near fatal malpractice several times, and even after working with their staff at every level, I still don't have adequate medication to manage my pain on a daily basis.

If you want to give the VA funding that will be useful, then eliminate the "priority groups" that prevent most veterans from getting the health care that was promised to them. I used to think that the VA had a funding problem, but the real issue is the lack of accountability of the nonproductive workers, and the numerous layers of management that is there for purely bureaucratic purposes.

Thank you for the work you've done to improve the VA system, but there is much more that urgently needs to be done.

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