Our meetings with the Associate Director have generated many more successes as a result of her honest and companionate words and actions!

Question: After a procedure, why aren’t Test Results sent to a Vet’s PCP?  
                   1. Why is Vet required to follow-up with the doctor who performed the procedure? 
                        a. Should Vets be advised to start taking notes of doctor’s names that do procedures   
                             outside of his/her PCP?
                        b. Why is it a policy that doctors have 72 hours to get back to a Vet patient?  
Answer to issues: When some of these issues were presented, both Department Heads and the Associate Director state that they were not aware that they existed.
Answer to #1-Vet should not be required to follow up with doctors that perform procedures. The results are to be posted in his/her medical file for his/her PCP.   
Answer to a. - No, the procedure should be in the medical file for all medical staff to see.
Answer to b. – Nobody at the meeting was aware of a 72 hour policy.  The AD said that she would look into it.

Question:  We would like to have a dialog with decision makers that determine the use of treatments like Acupuncture and muscle manipulation or massage.  Our research shows that pain from fibromyalgia and chronic muscle pain can be greatly relieved with massage and muscle manipulation.
Answer: This was addressed by Dr. Padilla, the Chief Primary Care Physician (PCP) who said she would look into the posed question.  Later we were told that it is simply a matter of money and that medications like Morphine were less expense to the VA.

Question: Why in recent weeks has FOSAV been getting inquiries from Vets that have lost their Primary Care Physician (PCP) and not been assigned another.  PCP’s is not only a local VA issue, but a national issue that is also outside of the VA.
a. Other Vets are reporting that they have not been able to get seen by a PCP some as long as seven months.  
Answer: There are many reasons that a PCP may not have been assigned.  It is an issue that we’ve asked to be addressed numerous times in the past two years.  
       We’ve learned that PCP’s may be contracted for short periods of time, as little as three months at a time.  
  Some good PCP’s have left SAVAHCS because of issues with the VA administrators. 

       We’ve also learned that at many locations throughout SAVAHCS there are “little light green cards” listing all the clinics with phone numbers and a listing for Vets that do not have a PCP or assigned clinic.   This addresses the issue that a Vet should not have to go for any period of time without seeing a doctor.

Emergency Department ED or ER:
Question: Why, long waiting periods for the filling of prescriptions on weekends? 
Vets have been known to wait for hours,    
a.   One Vet was checked in and seen by a doctor within an hour, had to wait nearly five hours for his eye-drop prescription.  
b.   We were told that on a weekend, there is only one Pharmacist on duty and that the hospital patients take priority.  
c.    We would like to know if the Pharmacy Department is truly understaffed or is it a poor  
              scheduling of Pharmacist.
Answer: As a result of our inquiry the Director of Pharmacy has implemented a dispensing system in the ED or ER for medications that are not opiates or narcotics.  Those Vets being prescribed hard-drugs will still have to wait.  The new implementation cuts down on waiting time in the ED or ER dramatically.   

Should you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to call me at my personal Cell number 520-488-8217 (Ed Wagner.)  And if I can't help you, I will refer you to one of our many knowledgeable FOSAV Members, many of us are Vietnam era Vets.

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These are just some of the 
Health Care issues FOSAV has presented in the past five years: 
Questions and issues we presented to 
the SAVAHCS Associate Director: