The Veterans Affairs agency has failed again. Why does this come to a surprise to people? Or… Does it not surprise anymore? People have been more and more disenchanted with the VA. Especially now that everyone is starting to receive socialized medicine. People do not like to have to wait for their care. Because when you are sick, it is very difficult to look past your nose and think about anyone beside yourself. Everyone wants, no, everybody needs to be first, when you are sick. Honestly, that is the mindset. Objectively, though, we can see this is a logical fallacy and we need to readjust our thought processes, but easier said than done.
The Veterans Affairs Community Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) are all over the country and most of them are not even manned or oversaw by a VA employee. Most of these clinics are contractors – once again wasting money and resources that could be utilized to helping our nations overwhelming numbers of Veterans that can be helped.
Let me explain.
If the VA would run the clinics they would spend less money and be more efficient as a medical provider because the staff would all be VA employees. The staff would most likely be more Vet friendly, rather than turned off by gruff exteriors, hardened exteriors. It takes a special person to be able to handle the Veterans. Veterans do not like to go to these doctors’ appointments because they are being forced to go there; rather than somewhere they would choose. The people that work at the front desks of these places have no customer service skills. They might have them in the beginning when they get hired in to do this job, but give them two-three months and these people are impatient, rude, and lazy.
- A Veteran that walks in to be seen, most likely, does not want to chit-chat, they want to get in and get out.
- A Veteran does not want to wait on the phone; while the attendant is helping another Veteran (which is are probably not happening, but that will be another article). While necessary sometimes to finish with the said Veteran that is being worked with the Veteran wants the staff member to hurry up. The Veteran may be in crisis.
- A Veteran in crisis does not want to be put on hold. This is the worst possible thing that can be done to a Veteran who is in crisis.
- A Veteran does not want to have to drive a hundred miles to get seen. They want to be able to use their VetChoice Card anywhere they want. Especially, if they have a problem that the best in the business are in their area.
- A Veteran does not like to be talked at or down to. Get with it VA Doctors, Veterans are smart. They were smart enough to come home alive, and are smart enough to listen to a Doctor. That is why they are in there. Work with them, make a treatment plan and share it with the Veterans.
It does go both ways though. Veterans, just because you came back, doesn’t mean you have to be jerks for the sake of being jerks. I believe we are all guilty of it because we have seen our issues just thrown at us as if it were all of our faults, but we need to rise above and be a better voice to those.