Tell Us Your Experiences With Veterans Affairs – Washington Wire – WSJ

After more than a month of battling criticism, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid disclosures of improper appointment-scheduling procedures at the VA and efforts to hide long wait times. Investigations continue, with reviews still underway from the VA inspector general, the VA and White House adviser Rob Nabors.

The VA is in need of a new permanent leader and Senate lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to address the short-term health care needs of veterans. Sen. John McCain had strong words for the scandal on Sunday and said the Justice Department should have started investigating “some time ago.”

President Obama has committed to improving service for veterans, but also said “there are millions of veterans who are getting really good service from the VA” and noted he often receives letters of commendation for doctors or nurses.

If you are a Veteran, we want to hear from you. We are gathering stories and experiences of veterans about Veterans Affairs. Share your experiences with the system as a veteran. If you know a veteran, send this link to them. We will publish some responses in an upcoming post on Washington Wire and possibly in a story.

We will not share your personal contact information if you choose to include it. It will only be used to follow up with you for a story.

via Tell Us Your Experiences With Veterans Affairs – Washington Wire – WSJ.

12 thoughts on “Tell Us Your Experiences With Veterans Affairs – Washington Wire – WSJ

  1. Most of my VA Doctors are foreign and speak only broken English.One of them sticks his tongue in his cheek every time I mention the work Patriot.One of my Doctors keeps trying to get me into Therapy so that I won`t be able to buy a gun…he is my fourth Doctor in Mental Health.They change about every two years.About %75 of the Vet`s at my VA Hospital are black,and I worry about all the Black on White crime that is real but is ignored by the MSM.I`m almost afraid to visit the Hospital.Rumors of Dirty Needles and other unsanitary conditions make me somewhat nervous.Make that Allot Nervous because most that administer shots,and take blood are black.A visit to a VA Hospital should not be this way,but it is,and it`s getting worse! Not to mention a 4.5 to 5 hour drive in heavy traffic.I have ask for my records to be transferred to a VA center half that distance but my request have been all but ignored.Maybe all the money we send to countries that burn our flag along with all the money used to support those that have entered our country illegally could be used to build more VA facilities…just saying!

  2. I have had to write clear to the Sec of VA to recive treatment for my wife. In many cases I have read reciepts indicating that the email was deleted with being read Or they assign at VAOIG number, but years pass and nothing is done, no contact is made to investigate. I even can show I contacted both the senate and house committes on veterans affairs to show that there has been abuse, neglect and deriliction of duty at my local clinic, and yet no answer. Guess someone has to die to get any help

  3. I don’t know if you will read this but I hope you care and will take the time to investigate all that I have. This VA malpractice, neglect, and indifference goes wide and deep. Please don’t think I am a grieving widow. I am but I am smart and I have been working hard to have my voice heard since my husband’s voice and breath was taken at a VA medical center after 3 code blues-1st for respiratory distress, 2nd and 3rd for respiratory arrest. 1st code-VA physician assistant wrote that he wanted to “avoid” sending my husband to a higher level of care because it was” a lot of work for staff” to send him to a higher level of care. He was sent back to his room alone-no call bells, no 911 system in his room, and no roommate. There are NO notes of any monitoring for approximately 8 hours!! (AFTER A CODE BLUE?!). At 12:00 am ONE health tech came on duty for 33 vets. By 1:30 am vets in an adjoining room heard him trying to call for help. Health tech was finally found by the vets. Tech was sitting on a sheet covered chair (SO NOT TO GET HIS CLOTHES DIRTY?!) “reading a newspaper” as far away from my husband as anyone could be. Vet said tech was watching TV. Tech “did not run” but “hurriedly walked” to my husband’s room passing by TWO code phones. Tech did not place a code call at that time (although tech knew my husband had coded earlier) but had to “access” Mike. Tech saw Mike become faint and slide to the side of his bed toward the floor. It was then, after he witnessed Mike sliding to floor that tech called a code blue at 1:36 am (police report) Tech returned to Mike, waited “four-five minutes maybe” before tech made a back up code call at 1:40 am (medical notes). MERT team arrived at 1:43 am (medical notes). During that entire 6-7 minutes Mike did not receive any assistance to breathe. NO CPR NO OXYGEN. Tech was certified in CPR. It is part of tech’s duty to give CPR. Tech did not. How does someone, especially medical personnel, watch someone struggle to breathe? Could someone finally please explain that to me? All that was Mike died that day. Mike’s body died 6 months later after 33 days without food or water.

  4. I’ve been seen, since 1971 at 5 different VA medical centers. Pa., N.C. and Tx. More than scheduling is being falsified, medical records are also falsified by physicians. When being seen, Vets are ridiculed and ingnored with it made clear not welcome with exam (term used very loosely) a farse. Physicans, when seeing a Veteran it’s a speed session of minutes with no interest to address medical needs. I’ve been told, try harder, simply ignored I was there with physican not speaking or responding to questions. Only stare in silence, write in my file with only words spoken tell me I’m done, or simply leave the room in silence. Told should be ashmed to be there taking up their time.

    I suffered for 11 years with a split collarbone and crushed shoulder joint, repeatedly seeking care at the VA, only to be ignored, laughed at, etc.. Finally a private physician helped me. Been back to VA and same thing, ignored BUT, records show Vet treated and medical file corrupted with falsified information. There’s more, a lot more, and not just me.

    I’ll open my world to you if wanting to dig in, any whistle blower would have to be Doc with their hands dirty. That doesn’t seem likely to me. My file is what it is and reality is what it is…something quite different.

    I would expect, the VA will fight Vets being seen outside the system for all their worth as the falsified medical records and those injured and ignored will be revealed.

  5. I’ve been black bald by Jeff Gerwing,Director of the San Diego, Ca V.A Medical Center and by Julie Azurin Nurse Manager of the 5south Direct Observations Unit for whistlerblowing on the Telemerty Techs. or Health Techs. for Caridac Monitoring Patient Neglection and very Bad Behavior. They were cleared however I was never informed of the inspection and never interview still to this day and thats why I was awarded a EEO Commission hearing. When someone was found passed away on a Cardiac Monitoring for 5 minutes, wouldn’t common sense to interview the complainted which is me. Someone passes away and I never got contacted about this after I’ve complainted about this. This is the tipper of it all, if I get sick, I can’t get critical care help up there because what I’ve done, I have to check in with the V.A police and they have escort me around, I’m a Federal Employee on leave without pay, a Patient and most of all a Veteran and can’t get Medical Treatment because Julie Azurin doesn’t want in her critcal care setting and Jeff Gerwing doesn’t want me in the building, what should I do if I get really sick

  6. Richard I believe I too have been black balled by a VAMC, but here is the thing, I am the caregiver and spouse. Therefore, they are preventing my husband, a Vietnam 100% service connected veteran from getting the services he has earned and is entitled to. I too, wore the uniform and have written to everyone for years about the problems that my husband has been subjected to. But, bonuses and salaries keep being paid. I just learned that the doctor that has the power to deny my husband shows foreign medical education and he maybe foreign according to his name. So how do one understand how veterans fight for this country but others can deny them care?

    Sad, very sad!

  7. I dropped a drill on my foot because of service connected disability to both my hands. It had a drill bit in it at the time. The bit went through my leather shoe and foot then broke off. My wife took me to the VAMC emergency dept. In Decatur Ga. I was discharged after x-rays because it was deemed not urgent. This happeded on a Saturday afternoon and I was told that it should work out. My foot was so swollen if there was a way I would have removed it myself and the pain agonizing. I was told to make an appt. The following Monday but they wouldn’t take me in until the Doctor read my Chart. I was informed by the office the client was only open Monday and Friday. Friday was my scheduled appt. By Monday I was ill and had a migraine. The client wouldn’t see me so I went to my primary care Doctor. She wanted me admitted to the hospital but the VAMC was in devergence. I went to Wellstar and was inform I had a serious infection in which they treated. I was directed to see a private Doctor to perform surgery the next day. The Office said they don’t take payments from the VA only secondary insurance or cash. I had neither. Now I am thinking and feeling like dying about now. My Wife made me go back to the VAMC emergency dept again. Thankfully a NP saw me and told me I was close to losing my foot and life. She was shocked when I told her it happeded Saturday and started to scowled me until I told her of my ordeal. She tried to call the Doctor who had me discharged to no avail. Thank God another Surgeon stepped up and perform emergency surgery.

  8. 100%PTSD -1996, Mar. 7 2012-victum of armed robbery go into flash back, go to PTSD clinic VA west palm beach fl (they know me well) on Mar 8 2012 Dr. M. S. helps me in the morning, go back afternoon in acute anxiety crisis asking for help going to run out anxiety meds (PRN) before refill date, Dr. M.S. refuses meds and medical treatment-3rd time turned away from PTSD clinic-2 days in row mid. Oct 2010 because Dr. B. Director PTSD clinic was filling appoint. slots for veterans in crisis with normal vet appointments , Mar 15 2012 in vet group PTSD clinic go into acute anxiety crisis and Dr. C escorts me into hallway and assaults me because he is trying to shut me up from exposing Dr. B was turning vets in crisis away from PTSD clinic because she was filling vet crisis appointments with normal vet appointments. Mar 22 2012 I go off on Dr. M.S. for no meds and treatment on Mar 8 2012 and get a disorderly conduct citation. I call Dept of VA they say stay in house and go up chain of command. 3 yrs and 31,000 suppressed pages of chronic veteran abuse documentation (6800 pgs in Shinseki’s office) and the Dept VA has covered all up. I followed all Dept VA instructions and Director VA, Patient Advocate, Privacy officer and 14 more VA employees West Palm beach fl VA suppresses everything. VA employees protecting VA employees who abuse and commit crimes against veterans sacrificing veterans in the process is the reason Director Szabo (VAMCWPB) and 16 VA employees are suppressing 25,000 pgs of 31,000 pages total- all UPS documented delivery.

  9. In 2005 I went into the VA at Loma Linda to have what doctor Bianchi said was a simple surgery on my left leg a bypass surgery well I woke up with my sex life being destroyed from scornectomy and my foot being amputated on my oppositea leg. In 2007 I was denied benefits under 1151 for neglegence by this doctor. In 2008 I won a FTCA without a lawyer and still fighting the VA to this day. It’s all about how they write up what happened and they know how to lie believe me when I tell you since then they have said, a sponge was left inside of me and I had a hip fracture that never happened to me. Lie after lie remand after remand all I get is told to wait by the attorney I was forced to hire in 2013 after meeting with a fed law judge in trave board hearing. I feel so sorry for the good people of the VA are getting thrown under the bus by the bad and crooks of the VA system it’s all about money people it has nothing to do with helping veternas believe me and I know because my 1151 has been brushed under the rug. And I have been an opiate addict to long made by the VA at Loma Linda ca. and Chriistian Bianchi who was my doctor but refused to put his name on my surgery as far as the VA expert witnesses said he couldn’t find who did my surgery and the CDC says they did what they wrote down but didn’t follow CDC recommendations.

  10. anyone who thinks they will be given a fair shake at a VA is right unless something goes wrong then get ready for a long long battle you have zero control over hurry up and wait

  11. Everyone is, sorry to say because of my non stop experiences with VAMC’s using to much energy and valuable time in life. Nothing will ever be done they still believe being exposed for some but not all of their malfeasance is a joke. If you have a serious condition find a way to make payments for private care, it could save your life. The only thing VA employees can get right is coordinating unethical behaviors and covering up. Specialty is retaliation to whomever speaks the truth. A simple task of doing the right thing for them is not going to happen. They are and have been to comfortable in their way of life. Trust me they are sicker than you think. And happy when disruption of a veteran is achieved. Don’t waist your energy.

  12. I have received care through the Gainesville, Florida VAMC since 1975; after my honorable discharge from the U.S. ARMY CORPS of ENGINEARS. I have undergone multiple surgeries since, of which each has post-surgery problems; which range upwards of severity – and the system has camouflaged, denied and attempted to convince me my pains and limitations haven’t any merit.
    On 02 Dec, 2014 I underwent an umbilicus hernia repair, sent home the next day; reported back to the ED that night and readmitted shortly after midnight. I was admitted with a post-surgery Ileus and wasn’t discharged until 20 Dec, ’14. I experienced unsanitary, unprofessional and other unacceptably medical treatment from the Nurses. I had preexisting abdominal problems maybe which ought to have alerted them of my susceptibility of an Ileus. They didn’t fix several hernias while they were in my abdomen, saying those hernias were too small to repair?
    My abdominal problems in my opinion extend from a delayed, botched Laparoscopic – Open attempted Cholecystectomy with many a problems which followed since mid Feb, 2003…
    I underwent a left-thoracotomy in early June, 2003, of which I felt sutured tissues separating in my final night of hospitalization; – a long story, and I still suffer greatly from the trauma.
    I love my country – I detest America’s oversight of the VHA medical failures concerning U.S. VETERANS in VAMC’s/VA facilities care; I feel like a man without a country during my medical care at these facilities.
    America is blessing VHA-employs with retirements, wages and stabilities of which they haven’t earned – in my opinion…

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