Wednesday, January 30, 2013


First of note, Congressman Vela has forgone opening an office at city hall in favor of in the same building which holds his local law office.  City of Brownsville's loss, idiots win.

More importantly, Vela has come out in favor of pushing for a VA hospital and in the interim an emergency room for the Harlingen clinic. 

Source:  Brownsville Herald

While I use to support an emergency room at the VA clinic in Harlingen I now have mixed feelings. From a cost point of view it is the best option.  We really do need the emergency room.  From a convenience point of view I prefer using Valley Baptist in Brownsville as the semi-unofficial VA hospital for emergencies.  When I had my gallbladder emergency going to Valley Baptist in the middle of the night was a lot easier than me having to call someone to take me to Harlingen.  But in fairness we must take into consideration costs - and a VA emergency room is a lot more cost effective than using Valley Baptist.  For now of course, if the veteran needs admittance into a hospital Brownsville veterans will then have to  use Valley Baptist in Harlingen.

What is really needed is two PA's or nurse practitioners to handle the walk ins.  The walk ins are killing the doctors.  They are so overworked and behind.  The other day I was seen by an RN - I was very happy with my service - she knew the best game plan for dealing with my sinus infection. If it does not resolve by February 6th, I will be seen by my regular doctor for my regular 6 month follow-up. 

In Dallas walk ins were seen by PA's and then triage.  The PA's would order any necessary testing before a decision was made as to whether the PA could handle the walk in or have the walk in be seen by the doctor of the day.  The system worked - in most cases the PA was able to handle all the problems.

If Congressman Vela really wants to help veterans now he needs to get funding for a triage system to handle walk ins.


UT is all too aware of the model linking VA hospitals, community hospitals and medical schools.  With Vela part of the discussions he can better take the information to the the Veterans Administration which should be able to use the issue of the new medical school and possible community hospital as a way to get on board now for a VA hospital.

My prediction remains the same - Hidgalo County will be the center of the new UT campus with Brownsville being a satellite campus.  Harlingen will get the VA hospital and medical school.  The compromise on the community hospital which will require a new taxing authority in both Hidalgo and Cameron county will place the hospital on the border of the two counties.  The better option is to put the community hospital, VA hospital and medical school all together in one  complex, but the most cost effective model will not sit well with Hidalgo county.  Pressure from the Veterans Administration with some promise of an expanded clinic in McAllen and some medical school offices tied to the McAllen clinic could get Hidalgo county on board for Harlingen being the new medical center complex.  Smart minds would offer basic clinics tied to the new community hospital in both Brownsville and McAllen.  This could prove a good compromise.


Anonymous said...

Were you against the VA hospital before?

BobbyWC said...

I personally remain against new VA hospitals - the current system with the main clinic in Harlingen and veterans using local close to home hospitals such as valley baptist is the better approach - but I agree an emergency room at the Harlingen clinic is more cost efficient for the taxpayers than me running to valley baptist

But VA hospitals are not cost efficient and good at delivering services

A VA hospital means our specialty care will go to doctors in training instead of real specialists - all of these stories you hear of veterans being exposed to HIV at are VA hospitals because no one supervises the doctors or specialists in training

A new story just came out of new york wherein the doctors in training were reusing part of the needle used for diabetics - over 750 people are being tested for HIV.

People do not understand that the VA subsidizes the medical schools - the money which should be used for veterans are going to subsidize the medical schools - we as veterans end up with doctors in training

This is why it took 10 years to diagnosis my back problems - in fact after the Fellow (neurologist in training) at the VA SA refused to give me an appointment because for 9 years other doctors in training found nothing wrong with me, the Chief Medical Officer assigned me to a pain management specialist with 35 years experience - it took him 10 minutes to diagnose a tear in my annulus tissue around C4 and C5 - a florascope eventually confirmed his diagnosis and 7 procedures later including burning the tear shut solved the problem.

How much did it cost the taxpayers for 10 years for every unsupervised doctor in training to get it wrong.

The last time I was seen in SA by a gastroenterologist he walked into the room swinging the scope like a toy - he then got in my face when I told him he had the wrong patient - he wanted to scope my stomach - when I refuses to drink the numbing medicine for mt throat he threaten to cancel my appointment - I demanded to see the real doctor and things went down hill from there - eventually I saw the real doctor and a new scope was brought in and the doctor in training got an ear full.

Any veteran who wants treatment by incompetent doctors in training are welcome to use a VA hospital

I can go on withendless stories - once I saw a dermatologist in training in Dallas - he was stoned - the nurses did not bother calling security - I did - he was removed from the hospital

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Here comes UT-McAllen with a Brownsville satellite campus with poor live class offerings, but some internet courses to make up for it. Here we are bending over backwards for Hidalgo County when it comes to I-69, and they are scheming behind our legislators backs to steal the medical campus.