Monday letters: Who will step up and help vets?

June 16, 2014 

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It is completely unacceptable that VA hospitals kept a bogus set of books on waiting times so officials could earn bonuses for an alleged job well done. But this is just a symptom, not the cause.

In addition to an outdated computer scheduling program, I surmise many of the shortfalls are due to the inability to handle the large volume of cases. How many vets are out there who need care compared to the available facilities and personnel? What studies have been done on the real needs compared to the available facilities? Are we underfunded and understaffed, or do we employ incompetent personnel?

First, the quality of the personnel needs to be addressed. But if we don’t have adequate facilities, then more or larger facilities needs to be funded or the services to our loyal vets should be reduced. It’s as simple as that. No one wants to step up; everyone just wants to throw rocks in the parking lot.

Our own U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn has stated that our wait times are unacceptable. True, but why? Doesn't he have a vote on the federal budget?

Many of South Carolina’s rural hospitals have low occupancy rates. They are looking for patients to survive. I bet they don’t have two sets of admission records. Why can’t the vets get government vouchers to be served by those hospitals? This could be a win-win situation.

John F. Hamilton

Columbia

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