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August 20, 2014
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Letter: Give veterans an insurance card redeemable at any health care facility

Money won’t fix our VA system

I worked as a registered nurse at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center for 28 years. I worked long term care, acute care, the Intensive Care Unit, ambulatory care and home telehealth.

More money for the VA won’t fix the culture aptly described as toxic. Roseburg has lost many competent doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners and therapists. They don’t leave because it’s a small town. They leave the Roseburg VA due to frustration with a system that places administration above, and in the way, of providing health care.

When a veteran retires or is discharged from active duty, give them an insurance card redeemable at any medical facility or health care practitioner they want to see.

For veterans, the ‘90s were the best years to receive care at the Roseburg VA. It was a great environment, with an ICU that cared for acutely ill veterans with unstable coronary syndrome, sepsis, respiratory distress and stroke. The surgical service provided state of the art care for major and minor operative procedures. Mental health and long term care helped more veterans and families than I can begin to describe.

If your medical/surgical floor averages less than 10 patients, you don’t have a medical/surgical floor. If you don’t have an ICU, you don’t have a medical center or a hospital. If you have to call 911 to send a veteran suffering respiratory failure to Mercy Medical Center and you’re making that call from the Emergency Department at the Roseburg VA, what’s wrong with this picture?

Rocky Stevenson


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The News-Review Updated Aug 28, 2014 12:17PM Published Aug 20, 2014 12:46PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.