Friday, December 10, 2010


OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES ASSAULT ON VALLEY VETERANS

To be fair on the caption, Farenthold has told Valley veterans he cares even less. He knows Cameron County will not be in his district after redistricting so we can expect that he does nothing for Cameron County - ever. After he won I brought to his attention the policy the VA has of requesting distraught veterans hang up and redial another number if they are thinking of killing themselves or another. His response has been to not even acknowledge my letter. He is not even sworn in yet and he is already ignoring the veterans.

The VA clinic in Harlingen may provide the best healthcare available in the LRGV.  Veterans should have no complaints as to the quality of care - based on the available doctors.  The administrative side sucks and will not get better until the top administrators are replaced.

As my regular readers know some veteran groups are demanding a hospital - I reject this because it would mean a poor quality of care as they bring in doctors in training, and a needless increase in operating costs.  For example because my fatigue has me in bed for 20 hours a day for upwards of 4 days at a time, my doctor here has referred me to see  a private endocrinologist in Brownsville instead of sending back yet again to San Antonio to a doctor in training.  The endocrinology clinic in San Antonio is a disaster as operated by University Hospital staff and doctors in training.  It is so bad it is the only clinic I have ever been to wherein you are seen ahead of your schedule because of all the cancellations. 

The other day I had to be seen by my sleep apnea doctor.  These doctors can either be pulmonary or neurology doctors.  To solve my problem I will now have to wear a chin strap when I sleep, along with putting a new humidifier on my CPAP ( machine which forces air up through the nose and into the lungs.)  I have two forms of sleep apnea - my throat is too narrow and closes when I sleep, and the brain signal which tells you to breathe in my case is hit and miss.

THE PROBLEM

The deal under the new arraignment is veterans in case of emergencies can use Valley Baptist (actually not so simple - but in most cases it is).  The new day surgery clinic and specialty clinic building is going to open next month.  Cardiology is a problem child.  Today is the last day for the pulmonary and cardiology specialists at  the VA Harlingen.  They are a couple  - so where goes one goes the other.

The new facility cannot accommodate the medical procedures done by a cardiologist.  You must be a hospital in order to perform the procedures.  Simple enough - we have a contract with Valley Baptist so just have him do the procedures at Valley Baptist - Valley Baptist immediately approved him for privileges -

Ah yes - now the administrators get involved - "oh no - using money for veterans to subsidize the medical schools is more important than the care of the veterans."  The VA would not agree to extend his medical malpractice to Valley Baptist.  As part of the lower wages received by VA doctors, the VA picks up the cost of medical malpractice.

Because of this policy of giving preference to funding the medical schools over care for veterans, VA Harlingen as of close of business today no longer has a pulmonary or cardiology doctor.  All of the veterans who had their services moved from San Antonio to Harlingen now have to go back to their regular doctor and get their services transferred back to San Antonio.  In the meanwhile key appointmens will be lost and people may die. 

No one faults the cardiologist for wanting to practice his profession.  The VA telling him the most they could offer him was sitting at a desk writing out referrals is not acceptable.

The Obama Administration needs to get on board and give us the funding we need to operate this clinic properly - it is a mess - veterans are having to fight for care - the clinics in San Antonio are all confused over care for Valley veterans - if you call for an appointment with your specialist you are turned down - if you write to Washington and complain you are all of a sudden allowed to continue with your specialist in San Antonio - this is not how things should be done.  I for example - because I bitch and threatened litigation will now be allowed to be seen by my pain management specialist until such time as VA Harlingen has a pain management specialist and the day surgery clinic can handle the procedures. 

SOME GOOD NEWS

VA Harlingen has a clinic for drug and alcohol addiction.  This is an important service for veterans.  If you know of a veteran with a problem - encourage them to enroll in the program.

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