Jolly wants Va to allow outside care
Amid the growing scandal at Veterans Affairs hospitals, U.S. Rep. David Jolly has called on department secretary Eric Shinseki to allow veterans to seek treatment from private doctors.
"We write today to express our continued concern regarding unacceptable wait times for patients to receive needed care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare Systems," Jolly wrote in a letter Friday morning. "Based on recent testimony before our House Veterans' Affairs Committee, numerous news reports, and your Department's own acknowledgement, we believe that some patient backlogs have reached a level that now requires you to look for alternative solutions outside of the VA Healthcare System."
Jolly argued in the letter that Shinseki has the statutory authority "to solve the crisis of wait times." The congressman asked that Shinseki change internal policies that would no longer require veterans to see their primary care providers within the VA before receiving care outside the government system.
"In a recent case presented to our Committee by a veteran in South Carolina, the patient had to wait approximately 11 months between his initial medical consult and his needed colonoscopy," Jolly wrote. "By the time he finally received a colonoscopy, he was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 colon cancer."