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Patient-Centered Community Care Vs. Availability Of Treatment Within The Va

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I was unable to receive a colonoscopy through VA Manila Regional Office and decided rather than pay to have one done in Manila to return to the US and seek the test through VA Long Beach in case follow up treatment was required. I "Presented" with blood in the stool, which continues. So, this is not a simple ten year screening. Additionally, I have a persistent UTI and BPH that needs to be treated, which his not Service Connected and thus not covered by the VA Manila Regional Office due to not being "Service Connected Disability". I arrived at a time that all of the negative publicity was airing in the news regarding long wait times and Veteran's death's while waiting for care. The day after arriving a went to the VA Long Beach ER for treatment of an ongoing problem with BPH and UTI's and discussed my need for a colonoscopy with the ER Dr. Of course nothing can be done until you see a Primary Care Physician and I was scheduled for the 27th with a Primary Care Dr. at Long Beach, but was able to obtain an appointment at a VA Outpatient Clinic within two days instead of almost three weeks. What I immediately discovered is that an appointment with the G.I. Colonoscopy Clinic for a colonoscopy is not available until late October - 2014. They did, however, schedule me to see a Dr. who is the head of the G.I. Clinic on the 27th for a "Pre-Op for a Colonoscopy". Regardless, I again checked to make sure that the information I had been provided on available openings was still the same. The wait time is now out to the end of October. I requested that the Primary Care Dr. refer me to the PC3 program to receive a colonoscopy outside the VA Medical System. Obviously that did not take place. I contacted a Patient Advocate to discuss the PC3 Program and my request and was told: "When you were in the military you had to follow the chain of command and you have to follow the chain of command in the VA. Everyone here is a Veteran and we have to follow the chain of command." I immediately asked her if she was a Veteran and she said: "No, but my husband and father are Veterans." I told her that as a CW3 in the US Army I certainly followed the Chain of Command and conducted my responsibilities in accordance with Army Regulations. I went on and told her that I am no longer in the military and that the VA is there to address the needs of the Veteran and not the Veteran address the needs of the VA. So, in light of the bad publicity is this appointment nothing more than the VA Long Beach to be able to say that the G.I. Clinic saw me within a prescribed time frame even though no substantive tests or care was provided? She did not like this line of questioning and asked if I had other insurance I could use. WHAT? I told her that given her response and the fact that I am seeing someone for a procedure that cannot take place for five months if I had other insurance it would be safer than working within the VA System at this time given her answers. If I had other insurance I would utilize it immediately, but that isn't an available solution for me. Nor does it address the long wait time and other Veterans that may be experiencing symptoms, such as myself verses looking for a "10 Year Screening". Given all of the publicity about the VA does anyone have any suggestions on how to best address this. Not only for me, but for other Veterans that need to be seen. Checking for Colon Cancer is not a game especially if you have symptoms of a problem!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Fox News has been reporting that the VA is going to start to provide non VA care for veterans, in some circumstances...due to the recent scandal.

I haven't been able to get more info on that and by Tuesday there should be more news on this idea.....

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