VA Hospitals and Clinics
by C. M. Albrecht
Lately we’ve been getting lots of troubling news about some VA hospitals, notably in Phoenix and some other locations. Of course it’s absolutely unacceptable that any military or ex-military should be shunted aside. After all, whether or not any of these persons actually faced fire, all were pledged and expected to do so if needed. Imagine being required to face a foe who is trying to kill you. You can’t run. You can’t hide. You have to keep going. The next step you take may be your last. Mines, snipers, bombs….Death is all around you. Imagine being a young person facing that with a family at home, a life ahead of you…if you can just survive.
But despite some VA facility shortcomings, I feel the need to mention that not all VA hospitals and clinics are alike. I live in the Sacramento, CA region and feel constrained to say that I’ve never had better or more attentive care than I receive at the VA facilities here. Everyone here treats veterans with the utmost respect at all times.
My doctors and/or their nurses call me at home whenever something comes to their attention. How many doctors call you at home? My primary care physician, Dr. Peters, keeps right on top of my health. If something shows up, he calls or has his assistant call. He never hesitates to send me to a specialist for whatever he feels necessary.
He got me a blood pressure monitor so I could keep up with my blood pressure at home. For my trigger finger complaint he sent me to a plastic surgeon and considering the preparation and care Dr. Whetzel took, you’d have thought he was doing open heart surgery on the president.
I knew when I first saw Dr. García that I was in good hands. He did cataract surgery on both my eyes and I feel that I’m having the best care possible. I’ve never been required to wait an unusually long time for an appointment. In fact, my cardiologist and my primary care doctors routinely send me notices to make a new appointment, or they simply go ahead and make one for me and I get call or a letter in the mail.
I’m wearing top-of-the-line hearing aids and bifocal glasses, courtesy of the VA. And no, I’m not a retired general or admiral. Just an old ex GI, but not so old that they think I’m only a drain on their time and attention. I just have to wonder why some clinics and hospitals are so very different than others in the same system.
In any event, I want to thank all the fine doctors, nurses and staff for the wonderful treatment they give veterans in the Sacramento region.