Gene Montgomery: VA care efficient

May 14, 2014 

Regarding the May 10 news story “ Veterans relay anger over VA system” about the apparent problems at health facilities in Arizona and statements by some that the problems are pervasive:

I have accompanied my 62-year-old brother, a disabled veteran who requires physical and mental assistance, to the VA hospitals in Durham and Salisbury and the VA outpatient clinic in Winston-Salem.

I have always found the treatment he has received to be personal, efficient and quite competent. Workers appear to move a great number of patients, some with critical needs, through their systems in a timely manner with positive outcomes in my brother’s case and with appropriate follow-up contacts.

As a retired nurse, I have seen much longer waits and much worse outcomes in other private and state facilities. The VA does not have the showy architecture or gaudy lobbies of some of our nearby university hospitals, and I suspect the head administrators make much less than the millions those at other facilities make. My observation is that the care is effective and probably cost-efficient.

I am aware that some people will take any opportunity to rant about government bureaucracy, but my experience tells me that the VA and Medicare are two programs that far outperform private competitors.

Gene Montgomery

Chapel Hill

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