Be wary of VA privatization

EDITOR:

I recently retired from the VA medical center. Now this may sound cliché, but it was truly my privilege to serve our nation’s veterans, including my own father.

Today I had a health care experience that is a prime example of why the VA should NOT move towards privatization of health care.

I had a routine appointment at the local Bellin clinic, scheduled for 10:15 a.m. I showed up at approximately 10:10 a.m. and checked in with a very pleasant clerk. We completed the obligatory forms with my signatures but most of all we visited for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. It was a great example of excellent customer service.

I took a seat in the waiting area and at about 10:30 a.m., another clerk called me over to the window and said that she had bad news for me. She said that my appointment was being canceled because I was more than seven minutes late for my scheduled appointment.

I was shocked and upset. Therefore this post.

Now, this would never have happened at the VA medical center in Iron Mountain. But if it had, the veteran would have sprinted to the patient advocate’s office to file a complaint.

Also, it’s very likely that the veteran would have written a letter to their congressman. This would have resulted in a congressional inquiry that the VA medical center would have had to formally respond to.

I am wondering how a veteran would have reacted to this situation at the Bellin clinic had his health care been moved from the VA to the private sector? Not well, I’m guessing.

I know my dad would not have left the clinic without raising some hell, and my dad wasn’t much different than other veterans.

Brad Tomassucci

Iron Mountain

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