[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Obama VA came under fire after whistleblowers revealed that records were being falsified so that executives and other workers could earn bonuses. The result of these actions meant veterans were left waiting for treatment for months. Many of them died during that time. Given the fact that there has still been no resolution to these systemic and heinous actions, you would think that the embattled, inept bureaucracy would have learned a lesson and would have begun offering better service. As one veteran in Seattle learned, that is sadly not the case.
[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]A 64-year old veteran, Donald Siefken, was in excruciating pain when he drove into the parking lot of the Seattle VA after dropping his wife off at the airport. As he was preparing to take her to the airport, he fell and injured his ankle. The swelling of his ankle prompted his visit to the ER where he was met with not just indifference to his injury, but outright lack of compassion by workers and refusal to do their job.
Siefken called the hospital from the parking lot to request assistance in walking into the ER. Though the door was only 10 feet away, his intense pain prevented him from being able to get out of the car and walk through the door on his own. Imagine his surprise when a worker at the hospital told him to call 911 for assistance in getting through the door and hung up on him.
Having no other choice, Siefken did call 911 and said to the operator, “It’s hurting like the devil and they won’t come out and get me. Can you believe that? [Hospital staff] told me to call 911 and hung up on me.”
Initially, the spokesman for the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Chad Hutson, stood by the worker’s failure to assist Siefken. Hutson said, “I know it sounds counterintuitive because someone is just 10 feet away, but it is our policy to do that. Our policy is no different than Harborview or Swedish or other hospitals in Washington.”
[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”553157113d3ff”][vc_column_text]According to the Seattle Times, however, such a policy does not exist for the VA. After a reporter for the newspaper requested Siefken’s medical file and other records, the hospital released another statement in an attempt to clean up the initial lie that was told to cover their actions, or lack thereof.
“After a complete review regarding this Veteran’s visit to the VA Puget Sound Seattle campus emergency room, we have determined we did not do the right thing to ensure the Veteran had assistance into the emergency room.
“When the Veteran told our emergency room staff that he did not have an urgent or emergent medical issue, our staff should have considered the request for help as a patient assistance issue. The emergency room personnel should have called the appropriate staff to come and assist the patient, ensuring he made it into the emergency room safely.
“Policies used to make the recommendation to call 911 for assistance, at the time of the emergency room visit, did not apply to this particular situation due to the non-emergent needs of the Veteran.
“This review has prompted the VA Puget Sound Health Care System to implement corrective actions to ensure this does not happen again to one of our Veterans. This includes education of our staff regarding what to do in similar situations and clarification of the official policy that deals with patient assistance into the building.
“We have also written a formal letter of apology to the Veteran and offered a verbal apology from our Chief of Staff.”
Like many of the scandals that have occured during the Obama presidency, despite a stated resolve to get to the bottom of it and make things better, there has been little improvement to the plight of veterans who are forced to use the socialized medicine system of the VA to care for their medical needs.
Listen to the 911 call for assistance made by Mr. Siefken while sitting outside the VA hospital in Seattle.
h/t King 5[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]