Local News

Aug 7, 2014 6:42 PM by Bart Bedsole - bbedsole@kristv.com

Local Vets Skeptical Of Bill To Improve Care

CORPUS CHRISTI - Lawmakers in Washington may be celebrating, but not every veteran is so optimistic about a bill signed into law today that aims to improve their health care.

The main goals of the $16B bill are:
-to allow the hiring of more doctors and staff for VA hospitals and clinics
-to make it easier to fire low performing VA executives
-to allows veterans who can't get to a clinic or a hospital because of distance or delays more access to private doctors and facilities

But Adrian De Los Santos believes it's all talk, with very little action.

He waited four years for surgery on his hand, and questions whether this is really an attempt to fix the system or just to silence the complaints.

"It's all lip service," he says, "look what we did, pat ourselves on the back. Four years from now, five years from now, ask me this question again, and I'll tell you how I feel. Right now, no. Back in the South, remember when they used take the dough and say 'here, hush puppy?' That's what it is. 'Here, we have you something, here, hush.'"

Congressman Blake Farenthold believes it will make a difference.

He told KRIS 6 News after the signing that the local VA clinic is among the facilities that suffers from big delays in appointments.

He believes this action, which opens the door to more private care, will have a big impact in the Coastal Bend.

"We want to get them treated as quickly and easily as possible. If we can't do it in-house, we want to make it easier elsewhere," he said.

Farenthold also plans on meeting with the local Nueces County Medical Society during the summer break, to speak with area physicians about how to provide better care for veterans.

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