Some veterans struggle with El Paso V...

Some veterans struggle with El Paso VA Health Care System

There are 45 comments on the El Paso Times story from Apr 12, 2008, titled Some veterans struggle with El Paso VA Health Care System. In it, El Paso Times reports that:

Some veterans give the El Paso VA Health Care System credit for saving their lives.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

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Albert A Hernandez

United States

#1 Apr 12, 2008
Having worked for the VA my last 7 years (in Management)before I had to retire due to health reasons, and being a veteran myself (Vietnam Vet/Navy Corpsman), I can tell you that the VA here in El Paso needs a major change it its leadership. A major area that needs serious attention is staff morale. Employees cannot work proficiently and harmoniously under an autocratic, bureaucratic, and narcissistic style of leadership. When you have doctors threatening massive resignations, and angry veterans at the door, you have a serious problem. What we need in El Paso is a full-scale hospital that can provide services to veterans after hours and on weekends. Despite VA cost-effective initiatives, outpatient clinic services are not adequate to meet the rising medical needs of a growing veteran population.
Mike Bailey

AOL

#2 Apr 12, 2008
Many veterans confuse the VA Medical Center and the VA Regional Office as being one and the same, when in fact they are two entirely different organizations. The VAMC is just about providing health care, and the VARO handles the compensation claims, the hospital has nothing to do with a veterans compensation claims, other than to provide Compensation and Pension exams commonly known as C&P exams. The VARO(the Regional Office) handles all the requests for compensation increases, and they need medical evidence to support increasing benefits or to even award benefits in the first place.

Many veterans never understand the difference in the two agencies and blame the hospital for everything. The VA compensation claims process is supposed to be an non-adversarial process, but as many veterans and their families will tell you, it is anything but non-adversarial, it has been described as the veterans second war. It shouldn't be this way.
efw

El Paso, TX

#3 Apr 13, 2008
THE El Paso VA has some very serious dirty laundry that has yet to come out. Don't know it is going to come out but it will shock everyone.
NE Korean War Veteran

El Paso, TX

#4 Apr 13, 2008
Rep. Reyes' response to the VA issue, smacks of disrespect to all veterans!
Some muckity-muck from Washington D. C. raises a stink, Reyes is suddenly on top of it with solutions and remedies! Shame on your exploitative ways of doing things Congressman Reyes!
WTF

El Paso, TX

#5 Apr 13, 2008
efw wrote:
THE El Paso VA has some very serious dirty laundry that has yet to come out. Don't know it is going to come out but it will shock everyone.
STFU GASER dos
lol

El Paso, TX

#6 Apr 13, 2008
lol
Ken Johnson

El Paso, TX

#7 Apr 13, 2008
I have had good luck and bad luck with our V.A. clinic in El Paso over the last nineteen years. It has been over the last two years I have started having problems with just about every visit. It is hard to get an appointment and harder to get one changed for whatever reason. Recently, I had an appointment with a specialty clinic that I found I could not attend. I called the number provided on the letter I received which stated to call. The man who answered gave me the hardest time I have had. He could hardly speak English and he stated I would have to go to my primary care giver to seek a change and that only patients of that clinic could make changes. I explained what the letter said to do and his reply was this is a new change. The letter was recent & I asked if someone was available who spoke English. He told me to call back. I did and got him again. This was after spending over an hour calling and waiting and having to listen to the administrator give his welcome recording and the menu. The answering system sucks!
Finally I called and dialed 0 during the recording and spoke with a human being. I asked to speak with the facility administrator or someone in charge. I waited as the operator tried three numbers which were busy. Finally a very nice female came on the line and took down my information and said she would call me back in a day or so trying to re-schedule my appointment. She did call back several days later and I was told I would not be able to be seen until May. I gave her the dates I am available and I have not heard another word from her or anyone else for a week. Last time I went in to see my new primary care doctor
I checked in as required. Forty-five minutes later my name was called and I was asked why I had not checked in. I said I did check in. I was then asked who had checked me in, and I replied "You did". My new doctor was not there and I was seen by another. These are just my more recent bad experiences. I could write a book! Something has to be done very soon to improve the overall operation. The money is available, but the service is not!!!
A Hillbilly

Van Buren, AR

#8 Apr 13, 2008
No one knows what the hell "customer service" means anymore. That concept started disappearing about 30 years ago, and I do believe the trend started in a government agency somewhere. Then it extended to big corporations, and today you'll even find the lack of service in the few mom-and-pop businesses left. Customers (patients) are looked upon as a bother. It's so very sad, what we've come to.
Albert A Hernandez

United States

#9 Apr 13, 2008
Mike Bailey wrote:
Many veterans confuse the VA Medical Center and the VA Regional Office as being one and the same, when in fact they are two entirely different organizations. The VAMC is just about providing health care, and the VARO handles the compensation claims, the hospital has nothing to do with a veterans compensation claims, other than to provide Compensation and Pension exams commonly known as C&P exams. The VARO(the Regional Office) handles all the requests for compensation increases, and they need medical evidence to support increasing benefits or to even award benefits in the first place.
Many veterans never understand the difference in the two agencies and blame the hospital for everything. The VA compensation claims process is supposed to be an non-adversarial process, but as many veterans and their families will tell you, it is anything but non-adversarial, it has been described as the veterans second war. It shouldn't be this way.
Good point. The VA is comprised of three branches: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA). Each branch is actually different, BUT, coincide with each other to ensure veterans get what they're entitled to. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way.

Albert A. Hernandez
Albert A Hernandez

United States

#10 Apr 13, 2008
efw wrote:
THE El Paso VA has some very serious dirty laundry that has yet to come out. Don't know it is going to come out but it will shock everyone.
It's coming out. That's why they had Filner come down from Washington and why Secretary of the VA, Peake, is coming also. They smell the "dirty laundry." It's management!
Albert A Hernandez

El Paso, TX

#11 Aug 8, 2008
Reference the above comments, including mine, there are major efforts in effect to correct the many problems this VA medical facility is experiencing. However, it will take some time. Please remember that the doctors, nurses, technicians and other support staff, are doing their very best under the circumstances.
boogie man

Topeka, KS

#12 Aug 8, 2008
If you don't like the VA, go someplace else.
No one forced you to go there? I can't stand people who get something for free and complain!
NDA

Carlsbad, NM

#13 Jan 22, 2009
It doesn't matter if it's free or not. It's people like you that have never served in the military and think this medical care is a handout. We have earned this care through our blood and sacrifices for this country! We deserve to receive it with courtesy and respect. The sooner we get rid of people like you, the better the VA system will be!
gramps

El Paso, TX

#14 Apr 15, 2009
I tell you who needs to be investigated by the VAOIG, it is the C&P exam section at the VA Clinic in EL Paso Texas. The C&P doctors, it you want to call them doctors, do not like Veterans plain and simple and it is not a racial issue, they do not like Veterans.They are not qualified to be doing exams for the Waco Regional office and are probably not certified as per VA Law. That is the head of the clinic, the administrator, responsability to ensue they are qualified.They do not go by the clinican guide in writing their reports, hence the Veteran gets the SHAFT with thier claim at Waco Regional Office. When you walk in for a C&P exam if they do not like you you are in trouble and they put things in their reports that you never said,criminals. Hell, let the US Justice Department send some boys down to the EL Paso VA to conduct an investigation. Another thing the EL Paso VA has too many people geting paid for doing absolutely nothing walking around trying to justify their "job". They start working in the cafateria to get their foot in the door then they make friends with someone in management in order to move up and get paid to do nothing there also.
Elzier

United States

#15 Nov 27, 2009
It's not for free. It takes taxes from everyone working to fund a VA. Your taxes, mine. We are getting sick and tired of government waste, so called stimulus that doesn't give jobs, and VA or other government programs that take our money and rob us blind. Fixing the VA would only scratch the surface of correcting big gov.
Rey

AOL

#16 Nov 27, 2009
Gramps, I have never had a problem at the EP VA. In fact, sometimes they provide better service than Beaumont.
When I first moved here, being away from the military system for many years, I was being put thru the hoops by Beaumont. A VA male nurse helped me immensely.
Elzier

United States

#17 Nov 27, 2009
I agree there are good people trying to help veterans and they know they are working against departments who are not. It's not that all of them have a problem. The moral is low there, doctors threatening walk outs all the time. Some of them are ethical and are just as tired of it as the veteran is. Doctors simply can't take the time to fix a bad administration and it's stressful on them. They're just as upset as we are. They're beginning to say so.
Elzier

United States

#18 Nov 27, 2009
NDA wrote:
It doesn't matter if it's free or not. It's people like you that have never served in the military and think this medical care is a handout. We have earned this care through our blood and sacrifices for this country! We deserve to receive it with courtesy and respect. The sooner we get rid of people like you, the better the VA system will be!
This is part of the problem. Good doctors are getting stressed out because of bad administration and the moral is tanking. It goes to the veteran and the next thing is we fight against each other. Getting rid of other vets, kicking out staff doesn't help because vets have been passing away and staff has been fired over and over, still with no good result. Attitudes must change and staff is responsible to insure this. Veterans shouldn't have to troubleshoot admin., and all of us need to find out with intelligence exactly what these factors really are that are causing the problems, and tackle these issues. Getting the proper care is giving the tax payer the bang for the buck. Ask any spouse working and paying taxes when they have a totally disabled veteran at home who can't work. They want their tax dollar to be effective. Oftentimes if the wage earner becomes disabled,it is catastrophic on the family income.
Petro

Brownsville, TX

#19 Nov 27, 2009
Elzier wrote:
I agree there are good people trying to help veterans and they know they are working against departments who are not. It's not that all of them have a problem. The moral is low there, doctors threatening walk outs all the time. Some of them are ethical and are just as tired of it as the veteran is. Doctors simply can't take the time to fix a bad administration and it's stressful on them. They're just as upset as we are. They're beginning to say so.
Don't worry , now with the W and Ripofflican Party out of the way maybe now you bums will get some help. Mr. Reyes working with a strong Democrat Leadership will bail you guys out., again.
_Arrrrrrr

San Leandro, CA

#20 Nov 27, 2009
Medical care at the VA is anything but free unless you're 100% service connected, El Paso does not have a VA Medical Center and I doubt that congressman Reyes has ever even bother to give it any thought or consideration that the El Paso area Veteran is screwed out of a full time full service VA Hospital, as it goes it's ok to go and fight get mamed or die for your country but when your country needs to remember that it only left a few thousand Veterans without the proper medical care they deserve as they done so with the El Paso area veteran regardless if Ft Bliss is there or not, wheres the respect Uncle Sam?
El Paso area Veterans need to stand up and voice your needs to these so called elected representatives that have done a very poor job representing you, you still dont have a VA hospital shame shame.

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