OR Senators Call For Changes At VA Hospitals

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Following the release of a new report that revealed vast numbers of Oregon veterans have been unable to access care at the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden called for renewed accountability and action to turn around a system they described as failing Oregon’s veterans.

The report revealed that both the Portland and Roseburg VA Medical Center were among the worst in the nation for waiting times, with over 6,600 veterans unable to be seen within 90 days. Additionally, the report flagged the two facilities for further investigation, suggesting possible concerns about the handling of data. Other VA facilities serving Oregon vets, including those in Walla Walla and Boise, were also flagged for further investigation.

Merkley and Wyden have fought for years against the gaming of records at Oregon VA facilities. They fought an effort to downsize the Roseburg VA Medical Center, based on flawed studies that claimed low demand for services there. In 2011 Wyden, Merkley and Representative Peter DeFazio wrote the VA secretary and succeeded in maintaining emergency room services and expanding telemedicine at the facility, although the VA closed the Intensive Care Unit and other services over the objections of Oregon’s delegation.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 and is filed under Local News, State News.