Mississippi VA Leaders Watching Investigation CloselyBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 21 May 2014 08:57am |
The medical treatment of Mississippi's veterans is back in the spotlight as reports of widespread mismanagement of the nation's VA hospitals develops. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the number of hospitals under fire is growing.....
The whole VA hospital system is under intense scrutiny after reports that numerous hospitals are delaying care, keeping a secret waiting lists, and not telling patients true wait times.
The VA recently launched new investigations in New Mexico and Florida in addition to the Phoenix hospital that started it all.
Joe Battle, who runs Mississippi's GV Sonny Montgomery Medical Center in Jackson, says they are watching the investigations closely.
"Those investigations will play themselves out and disclose whatever is going on. And that is about all I can tell you about it from what I know. Here at the medical center we take care of over 45-thousand veterans. We do about 440-thousand out patient visits a year," Battle said.
As recently as last year, the hospital in Jackson has been investigated for being understaffed and violating other federal rules.
It has so far not been accused of problems on the same level as the hospital in Phoenix.
Veteran Robert Curly says his care has been good but still feels the system is slow and unresponsive.
"I see a lot of things that need to be changed. For paper work and stuff they are really slow. They treat the patient right but they are slow," Curly said.
General Eric Shinseki is the secretary of the VA and calls for him to be replaced are growing louder.
Mississippi's Second district congressman Bennie Thompson, the state's lone Washington Democrat, stop short of calling for changes at the top.
"I look forward to fixing the system. If that means fixing it with Shinseki, that is good. Or adding someone else in his place that is good. I look forward to fixing it," Thompson said.
Governor Phil Bryant says he is confident that the treatment at the hospital is not as poor as condition were in other states.
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