So much is being expressed regarding VA clinics, and much of it is well documented. Many veterans could add our own frustrations. However, I suggest that the issue is much larger than poor care at the veterans’ level. It is an example of our top heavy government programs that have many levels of bureaucratic entitled employees for the smaller percentage that’s trying to treat the veteran at his level. We see similar confusion in the Forest Service with closing campgrounds and bathrooms while the district, regional, sub-regional, area, and national offices expand their employees, salaries, computers, conventions, and benefits. The Postal Service, who set the precedent for all agencies by giving bonuses to each other, homes for upper management as they relocated, etc., continues to close rural post offices which is the service that meets the public at our level and is the heart of rural American communities.
In 2013 I wrote my letters to the VA and Congressmen. The only response I received is a newsletter from one who hoped I’d vote for him. My letters expressed how from 2003 to 2005 I experienced a debilitating Illness. Three years later the VA approved me to travel to Salt Lake City Regional VA facility to see a Doctor, who funded by the VA through University of Utah, was researching the Illness.
In 2012 some symptoms returned so I again contacted SLC VA. At my own expense I travelled to SLC. They were not aware of the previous Doctor, who likely received millions to do the research at their facility. They assured me unlikely the Illness was returning, but with the expertise I encountered, and the run down facility, I’d never go back.
A few years ago I was advised to have another procedure and told by the VA that I would be looking at 7 months to get in. I went privately and had my health needs met. However I was and still am limited in my ability to pay the inflated costs.
There are larger issues here. Until we deal with the bureaucracy and legalistic processes we will continue to be manipulated. Every government agency has wonderful mission statements that discuss service to the public and quality of our lives. At present the agencies seem to be serving themselves.
What is the solution? Political representatives that will turn the agencies upside down, where the bulk of the employees are on the ground where the public is rather than at the top where they thrive at the expense of the public. Also what would be approved by the taxpayers is employees who are not serving the public be allowed to go elsewhere. There are many serving people that would like to have a public service position. Will it take electing a third party to fulfill commitments to the taxpayer?