VA SCANDAL: Iowa Hospitals Not Part Of Inquiry

It’s the latest scandal involving the Veterans Administration. President Obama sent White House investigators to get to the bottom of claims about treatment delays at the VA Hospital in Phoenix.

Thursday, investigations began at some other facilities across the U.S. We’ve confirmed Iowa’s two veterans hospitals are not a part of that but the location of the 26 other facilities to be investigated has not been released.

Some veterans say the care they receive here in Iowa is better than most. The VA hospital in Des Moines sees 34,000 patients.

Vietnam veteran Alec Kuijano says he’s always been able to get in and see a doctor and able to receive medicine.

Others did post to our Facebook page saying wait times have been long and the hospital has been too full at times.

However, Kuijano says regardless of veterans’ experiences all vets deserve proper treatment

“The medical treatment is what everybody says we earned well we did but that treatment is also at the pleasure of the American people so I don’t think we can take it for granted,” says Kuijano.

We did reach out the VA hospital in Des Moines just to see what their wait times are for patients. They were unable to compile that data Thursday and their spokesperson wasn’t available for comment.

7 comments

  • William Denison

    FYI Its a 30 day wait right now at the Marshalltown VA Clinic. They are short handed due to a retirement of one of their docs. From what I understand there is just one person there seeing patients for the entire area. Marshalltown is home for the Iowa Veterans Home.

  • Mina

    I think the VA Hospital organization in Des Moines should be added to the list for a review of timely care decisions being made. It may not be in the wait to see a doctor, but decisions to act on care seems to be a slow process in our experience.
    We can not go back and undo what has been done, but going forward there needs to be the strictest of accountability and integrity by ALL staff, especially the visiting weekend doctors in the Rehab part and not being up to speed on a patient’s chart.

  • Troy V

    Sadly, the VA Healthcare system is just like every other healthcare system. Hurry up and wait (same thing that happens in public hospitals every day. See a Dr. to be referred to a Dr. to be referred to another Dr. to get to see the person you wanted to see in the first place.

    I feel terrible for the Veterans and their families, but to think this is new within the last decade is ridiculous. It’s been this way my entire life and I’m nearly 40 years old.

    The biggest issue is Insurance companies requiring you to see a regular Dr. before you can go see a specialist. It just adds cost and time. If you know you have some sort of skin disease (skin cancer for example), you are REQUIRED to go see your regular Dr. to be referred to a Dermatologist as your regular Dr. cannot (or will not) do anything about what you came in for.

    The VA Healthcare system is a typical government process. We don’t spend any $$$ updating facilities, the Dr’s are “ok”, but we don’t pay them what they could earn in the private sector so therefore they are not the “top of the line” and government bureacracy gives people so much “red tape” to wade through it’s nearly not worth it. I saw a person running for Congress touting that we should give them “vouchers” like that would speed things up. it’d just add another layer to the wait IMO.

  • Iowa Teenage Civil War Hero

    My great-grandfather was a teenage Civil War hero and pensioner, shot 4 times. He told me to say this:

    In the early history of this nation, medical services for the veteran should have merged with local hospitals to form a strong healthcare system for the entire country.

    Vets would be proud their sacrifice continued to serve the country in this manner and proud to convalesce alongside those they fought for. It’s absolutely crazy there’s a separate VA hospital down the road from the local hospital.

  • dan

    Ok but now Obama is concerned about veterans. So we should get a good explanation how it won’t change about 2030.

  • boogr

    PLEASE PUT THE DES MOINES VA HOSPITAL ON THE LIST TO BE INVESTIGATED!!!

    My father died July 17, 1996, 1 day after driving to the VA Hospital in Des Moines. My Mother and an American Legion Officer went with him that day to be seen for health issues. He was refused treatment, told he could not get in until September, only when my parents & Legion Officer protested was my father told that he could be seen in August and to come back. As my Father, a survivor of the Vietnam War who came home to backlash from his country, walked away the staff member that they had been speaking with commented to another staff member “…there goes another Vietnam drunk”, THIS IS HOW MY FATHER WAS TREATED BY THE VA HOSPITAL IN DES MOINES. My father died the next morning from a MASSIVE HEARTATTACK. Upon receiving much documentation (my fathers military records, copies of any paperwork that was filled out the day before his death at the VA Hospital, and his death certificate) we found that the VA Hospital falsified papers, in the records they showed that they had seen my father that day, doing a complete set of vitals, his weight & height, etc. THEY NEVER TOUCHED MY FATHER! The blood pressure, pulse, height & weight that the VA Hospital had documented as being collected on that day in July 1996 was copied directly from his military records from when my father was in the Marines & Vietnam War. With the help of the American Legion my fathers story was aired on local news channels, was seen on some national news channels, and was front page of our local news paper and also hit the Des Moines Register during the Veterans Day holiday. My family fought with the VA Hospital for months, we all wrote letters to the VA Hospital only to be told that the only person whos’ words would be considered were my mothers as myself & brother were only children and did not count, that my fathers 2 young grandchildren did not count. Eventually my family gave up our fight against an Administration that was extremely protected by the one government that promised to help my Father but yet failed him and many many more like him. My father was 49 years old, one month from his 50th birthday when he died. He left behind a wife, a daughter, son, and 2 grandchildren. I made 2 promises to my father that day…to take care of my Mother and to make sure that when ever given the chance to share this story that I would. I can not nor can any one else bring back my father but knowing that there are others out there who will see this, see what others are sharing, hear what others are saying maybe, just maybe, if we all can come together as one to stand up for our loved ones then maybe our loved ones who have suffered at the hands of the VA Hospitals will not have suffered in vain. I LOVE AND MISS YOU DAD…

  • KC Scherer

    My father was left to rot and die by the Des Moines Veteran Administration hospital, having a PET scan that detected cancer that was left UNTREATED for 22 months before they stumbled upon the scan results after several follow up appointments from 2001 to 2003. Pure incompetence.

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