Sunday, February 19, 2006

An Inside View of the VA Hospital Success Story

Friend and faithful follower of this blog Chuck Kleber sends along the following comment on what has been referred to as the VA Hospital Success Story from his granddaughter, whom he identifies as “an experienced pharmaceutical and high tech medical equipment rep, and a doula.” Reportedly, VA hospitals have made notable progress is things like the computerized medical record and computerized physician order entry. For those like me who are often found behind the times, a doula is, in Chuck’s words, a highly trained midwife, a woman who attends a pregnant woman, and sometimes the father too, as an advisor, a confidant, hand holder, quasi-nurse and person of great support throughout the pregnancy and especially in the final weeks and days and, more especially, in the hospital and the delivery room. Also, for care and support after the birth.

Here is the comment:

I saw the headline about "the veteran's administration success story." I have no idea what they're talking about, but from the 12+ years I have been inside of VA hospitals, I would hardly call their health care delivery a success story. Veterans wait months for referrals to specialists. Every single VA hospital I've seen the inside of has been old, rundown, stunk to high heaven, crowded, dingy.... nowhere I would want to get health care for sure. The lines at the pharmacies there are long, every day, every time of day. The lines at the clinics are the same. There is so much red tape to cut through to get the type of appointment you need that it's a wonder any vet can see the right doctor.

I agree our health system is broken in America, but I don't see the answer being nationalized, subsidized health care.

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