To: Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General (50)
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
From: Charles Frederick Tolbert EDD
Retired Master Sergeant United States Army
PO Box 590213
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33359
What is the purpose of the veterans administration?
This is the question being asked by veterans who are not being taken care of through the veterans administration system.
As a retired Master Sergeant who served 22 years in the military, a Vietnam veteran, with only 20% disability I am finding that the VA is not accomplishing what it is assigned to do.
Although there are other medical facilities that I can go to under Tri care or Medicare, I choose to visit different VA clinics five times a year and hospitals in order to write a short update to insure VA hospitals and clinics are actually caring for our soldiers.
In April and May of 2017 I attended a VA clinic in Florida for primary care, blood testing and an eye examination with x-rays and an MRI.
The VA does not except TrIcare, so when I received a prescription for my eyes, I was not aware of the fact that I was going to be billed until two weeks later, when I received a bill for $24 for medication that failed to work after I tried it for four days.
The primary care referral for a blood test submitted required me to return twice to the clinic due to the fact that the individuals taking the blood tests mis-understand and did not properly read what the doctor had requested.
The VA hospital where I had my MRI was an 89 mile round-trip and a 4 1/2 hour drive.
A veteran who could not drive would have had to have an assistant to take them there and the cost would’ve exceeded hundreds of dollars with loss of pay and time when in fact the veteran could’ve been referred to a local facility.
Had the veteran had a tri-care as I do, they could have used their HMO or PPO and had no cost and time and expenses would have been reduced.
Upon discussing issues with the staff at the facility I was informed that they were also short staffed and the MRI machine was antiquated and they were in need of a second one.
In conclusion; the VA facilities are not following or interconnecting with other VA Clinics. VA clinic systems are not aware of the veterans condition and are not able to read the files if the veteran goes from one clinic to another.
According to conversations I’ve had with the staff at the VA clinic they don’t have the medication or the facilities to deal with certain illnesses.
Even though there may be currently affordable care for our soldiers and veterans, which now exceeds 14 million through the affordable care act, and in 2001 retired veterans were allowed after the age of 63 to use Tri-care life in addition to Medicare part A and B, it is still not a solution. By allowing all veterans (wounded soldiers) access to Tri-care and Medicare, we transfer the bulk of medical care to organizations who understand the importance of care and efficiency.
With VA overseeing the care and assignment of ID’s, all veterans would have access to HMO’s and PPO’s and the cost to the VA budget would be drastically reduced.
The closure of VA hospitals and the issuing of ID’s to our veterans is only the beginning in the reduction of suicide, spreading of diseases and lack of care. There will still be a need for local VA offices to assist these veterans to insure their transfer into the new system. However as an out processing and transfer from the military to civilian care this procedure can be expedited.
For further articles written by Dr Tolbert please visit the following sites.
Charles Frederick Tolbert EdD
Retired Master Sergeant, Vietnam veteran, Pastor
Citizens For A Better America
Copy Editor…Vilet Dye…firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans affair Atlanta Georgia
President of the United States
Local VA clinic