Death and denial
My father was a patient at the Chillicothe, Ohio VA Hospital. I took him to his appointments, I'm his son. My father was at the hospital at least once a month for at least the last two years of his life, getting tests of one type or another. He was a patient there for decades. The VA hospital discovered that he had terminal cancer three weeks before he died from it. There's case#1 Case#2: Up until a month or so ago, I was a patient at the same hospital. Do to sever pain I have been on 5mg 8 times a day of oxycodone. I've been taking them for over a decade. The hospital tried to switch me to methadone several years ago only to find out that I was allergic to it, so back to the oxycodone. No problem, never had a problem with it to start with and it has always worked well for me. A few weeks ago, with no warning, when it was time to renew my prescription. I was told that I would no longer be getting oxycodone. That they were switching me to methadone even though I'm allergic and they would give me another pill that would reduce the allergy the new meds. Fixing something that wasn't broken and running me away for the VA. I now doctor elsewhere. The cost to me is unbelievably HIGH. These people have turned their back on me several times in the last ten or more years, up to and including putting me into withdraw for 10 days, a few ago. Yea, that's right. A new doctor, that had never seen me before, just cut me off my pain meds-cold turkey. If I hear the term: Quality veterans care or see one more of the many signs, hanging on their walls again-I'll scream. The Chillicothe VA Hospital wouldn't know quality care if it punched them in the face. The patient advocate is worthless. I’ve had many complaints over the past two decades and the advocate did squat!
No Privacy for the Veterans
When a vet calls a local VA medical (Charleston, SC) an operator answers in about 3-5 minutes. You are asked for your name and last 4 of your social security number. They then review your records and ask you questions about the reason you called. 1. They are operators and are not associated with any of the clinics. 2. They are not nurses, doctors, PA's or professionals of any type. They are operators. 3. When asked why they were asking 20 questions, the answer was to see what help they could provide. 4. When asked if they could prescribe medicine, the answer was, "No." 5. When asked if they could provide medical advice, or offer a diagnosis, the answer was, "No." Bottom line is; 1. that the operators in the VA clinics have access to everyone's medical files. 2. the operators review the records and try to provide medical help--when they are not qualified. I asked the nurses and doctors why the operators have access to everyone's files and where was the privacy that is so highly talked about. The answer was there is no privacy, anyone who has access to the system can ogle your files to include pictures and x-rays. Thanks for letting me present this. James DeWitt
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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