At his first meeting with the leadership of Veterans Service Organizations VA’s Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson today announced that VA has reached out to all Phoenix Veterans identified in the recent VA Office of Inspector General interim report.

During a breakfast discussion with the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Vietnam Veterans of America, Acting Secretary Gibson outlined immediate steps taken to respond to the interim report, including announcing travel this Thursday to the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

“No Veteran should have to wait for the quality health care they have earned and deserve. The inspector general confirmed we have real issues when it comes to patient scheduling and access, and we have moved immediately to address those issues in Phoenix,” Gibson said. “The department has now reached out to every Veteran identified by the OIG to discuss individual medical needs and immediately begin scheduling appointments. Getting this right is our top priority, and taking care of the Veterans in Phoenix is a good place to start. The department will also continue reaching out to Veterans nationwide to accelerate their access to care, and that is the message I intend to deliver in Phoenix, and across the country.”

Last week, OIG released an interim report on patient scheduling and access identifying approximately 1,700 Veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, awaiting health care who were not currently in the scheduling system. After accounting for duplicates and those Veterans who declined to provide contact information, VA called all 1,586 individual Veterans identified by the OIG as of 6 pm on Friday, May 30. For those Veterans that VA could not reach after several attempts or who had not provided phone details, VA sent letters via US Mail. VA identified that roughly 725 Veterans of the 1,700 identified by the OIG wanted care within 30 days.

VA will schedule all Veterans requesting care at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. If the Phoenix VA Health Care System is not able to promptly provide care using VA providers, VA will identify providers in the community through the VA’s non-VA care program.

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Published on Jun. 4, 2014

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  1. Matthew Marquart June 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    See this is a start but its just a drop in the ocean. Look at the Veterans here in Fayetteville North Carolina. For myself alone to see my Doctor, I have to wait anywhere from 3-5 months. I’m sometimes told to go to the VA hospitals ER for treatment, but I’m then either turned away and told to go to my clinic or I’m treated like crap. Mean while I’m hunched over at a 90 degree angle and being help up by either my wife or sons to walk.

    Just last month I had to threaten the VA Hospital in Fayetteville of filing a congressional complaint against them (This was before the big news hit on TV) just to get seen and treated as well as requesting a new doctor all together.

    Lets go over this shall wee. I have a lower spinal injury that is now degenerative Disc Disorder, scar tissue from a previous surgery that has my nerves encased in it, bone spurs in my spine, and one disc is 95% gone.I have advanced arthritis is both hips, IBS since the VA took my Gall Bladder, and I have issue with bloody stools. My last colonoscopy was in 2008 that I paid for myself and that doctor told me since there was several cases of colon cancer on my fathers side of the family that should receive a new colonoscopy every 3-4 years. I have fought with my current doctor for the past 3 years about getting another one performed since the bleeding has become worse. It took me threatening them to take actions. The Doctors response was always the same, “I need a copy of your last colonoscopy and your not in the proper age group for this test”.

    Lets see I have IBS (Irritable Bowel syndrome) and my clinic doctor sent me a tub full of stool softeners. My Wife called up and went the hell off on the doctor. Also my doctor scheduled me to have a stress test on my heart, (Now remember I can barley walk) she scheduled me to have the treadmill stress test. Went tot he appointment and the cardiologist was shocked that this doctor would schedule me to have this kind of test performed. Cardiologist refused to let me take the test and email my doctor telling her to reschedule the test using different means. This was 2 weeks ago and no response or new appointment.

    A coworker of mine is now waiting 8 months to see his clinic doctor with an new issue that he is having. Fayetteville VA hospital is broken and most of the staff there treat the patients like crap and without any respect.

  2. patrick jahnke June 5, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Congress and senators get top care sit on their asses and goes in one ear out the other ear, sorry can’t help u out. Where is veteran voice evening hear in deaf ears. Like the doctors can’t tell u why .

    • thomas m gomez June 5, 2014 at 7:44 am

      your voice is herd on election day! theirs no deaf ears with us soldier! we the veterans of america are a powerful voting block when we all vote together. on one issue. and secret memo;s this aint Russia guy. some of you guys honestly think our government is against you. why? there not going to take your meds.. calm down soldier..

  3. patrick jahnke June 5, 2014 at 12:49 am

    I feel their more TOP SECERT memo sent out to all VA’s to CANCEL all NARCOTICS drugs non matter how long u been on them, then take them away without proper drugs for the with draws . the body will be asking for it and the vets have nothing to help fight the pain. I know they will try to change it to a ANTIDEPRESSANT drug like gabapeatin give u nasty side effect may take 3 months go thru ur body . u build these meds ever 3 days 3 x a day doctor told me I may have to take 90 mg a day before any help 3 month side effect and nonstop pain. I just took narcotic when I need it. Under MD files 30 MG’s was OK perday for burns . which my doctor did. After retired no more the nurse practition cancel them cold no meds for withdraws 4-6 months under drmemo on internet. Seen doctors got same. Memo . their more secret memo and list out their in hiding .

  4. thomas m gomez June 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    the sad truth is. and yall not gonna like this. but its the truth. some of our brothers have like 20 conditions claimed. this takes time. every claim has to be proovin unless its presumed. you all talk about the government. the va screwing you. some vets are trying to screw the government and the va! and thats the truth. why does everyone have to be 100% when some of us dont deserve this much of a rating? whats with 20 or more conditions?. the truth is . if you deserve it . you will get it. but if you dont you wont.if you cant proove certin things . dont bother putting a claim in for it. unless you already have service connection and the condition got worse.the goverment isnt stupid. eather is the va. ya they done us wrong. but people did us wrong! not the government or the va. bad choices for hire did this. and its a shame what happened. but give them a chance to fix this. stop kicking them when they are down. and if a vet is claiming so many conditions just to put as many as they can. thats not right eather. bullshit claims are also a reason why this is going on. they are tying up the mad as hell about what happened! but im not going to sit here stomping my feet! all i can do is wait for change. we are the best treated veterans in the world. so give em a break soldier.they are not tryng to screw us. the morons they hired were the ones. and they will all be fired soon. so wait your turn soldier. and for the bs claims out there. those vets are slowing the whole process down.20 conditions or over. give me a break.. pure greed. and that’s the truth. god bless america!

  5. Norm W June 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    If this wasn’t such a serious situation; it would be the biggest joke of the century. Like an earlier poster said, “it’s all about the photo ops for the dignitaries” and as far as the veterans getting any quicker or higher quality healthcare, they could care less. I have somewhat accepted that our government would rather we die so they don’t have to pay for our healthcare or our benefits, so; I have decided to let God handle them in the end. I am sure there is lots of room in hell for people like those that work at the different VA facilities. Hope they like extremely warm vacations.

  6. Luis Garcia June 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    I am not a Phoenix Veteran yet I was brought all the way from Texas where I get all my health care for two appointments. Maybe Phoenix Va is reaching out to the veterans in the wrong state. To top it off I get here and I get my appointment cancelled the day before the appointment. Nothing seems to change the scheduling is still a problem.

  7. patrick jahnke June 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Why can’t they have a meeting of the veteran at all va centers so we can voice our opinion what happen at the local centers it use not one or 2 places add Madison with not caring for the veterans . hurry up wait yrs I have no were to go fight my pain.

  8. Mike H. June 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    After three calls to the Long Beach VA without answer I drove over there, walked in, made the appointment and walked out. Those people are LAZY!!! Three of them were just chatting doing nothing. When I walked up to the window it was like a grenade got tossed in. One talked to me and the others disappeared. BTW for the entire Long Beach VA Health Care System they have but one CT. How STUPID is that? It does also take at least two calls to get appointment with my PCP. I wish I worked there. Get paid to avoid real work.

  9. Rob Lopez June 4, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Really, I didn’t get a call! Been trying to get an appointment for months for my Diverticulitis. Plus, been trying to get a re-evaluation appointment for 2 years. The only answer people can give me is…”What did you expect, it’s the Governement…hurry up and wait!”

    • Mike H. June 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      If you live close enough do what I did. Drive over and make one on the spot.

    • Mary Aplin June 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Rob Lopez- I don’t know where you are, but if you go immediately to your nearest VA urgent care/emergency room facility and advise them that your diverticulitis symptoms are intolerable and that you have not had an appointment scheduled yet, I will bet you will be treated acutely AND have an appointment for followup within a month. The ER and urgent care facilities are always available and they treat diverticulitis when it flares. Good luck to you.

      • Spec 4 June 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        Just don’t try this at the Dallas VA on any weekend …after 12 hours you’ll just walk out. F—king circus

  10. Ronald Holmes June 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Talk. Yack. File endless reports. Hold PR photoshoots. Gab. Pronounce. Spin. Bullshit. Then do absolutely nothing actually helpful. The top GS officials learned how to get top salaries and bonuses while obfuscating the truth. And it won’t stop here. Charge them with treason as GIs have died. These same administrators are trying to save their huge pensions. They belong either dead or in prison. GIs have died under their shell game. Don’t fall for their big PR spin. Same stinking pile. Fix the VA management and prosecute the thieves.

  11. Jeffrey Trueman June 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

    The Acting DVA-Secretary MUST call all 750 DVA lawyers and obtain the precise amount of claims filed under the “FTCA” … for medical malpractice, neglect, abandonment, and retaliation as these cases clearly were arbitrarily dismissed by DVA lawyers at the “administrative law remedy” phase. Under the SCOUS Feres Doctrine second-rationale … all lawsuits should be remedied under 38 USC 1151 in a no fault, non-adversarial manner. Sadly, the DVA lawyers rather spend 1 million to cover up a 1151 related matter per se … that could be resolved as a “service connected” injury for $2,700.00 per month. Go figure …

    Case in point:

    • Jeffrey Trueman June 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Also, see: Cushman v. Shinseki … where my friend and activist Vietnam Veteran buddy had to fight 30 years for the courts to recognized our DVA benefits are “property interests” under the U.S. Constitution. The Acting DVA should be contacting all Veterans who prevailed in litigation if he wants to fix the system … and most especially, Phil.

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