Veterans, their family members and others are invited to a town hall meeting with representatives of the Roseburg Veterans Association Healthcare System, from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Aug. 16) at the Chetco Activity Center at 550 Chetco Lane in Brookings.
VA officials will answer questions and listen to concerns about the system.
The VA held a meeting here a year ago at which numerous veterans told the new Director, Doug Paxton, the problems they’d encountered at the clinic and hospital in Roseburg and the numerous challenges they face at the clinic here.
“We had 266,000 vets go through the system in 2015, and 350,000 this year,” Paxton said at that meeting. “Every large corporation listens to its customers. We deliver healthcare to you. When you don’t get those needs met, I need to hear about it. I need to hear the good, bad and the ugly.”
The complaints ranged from difficulty in accessing the new MyHealtheVet program, problems getting appointments, doctors never getting back to patients — sometimes for years — not understanding medical reports issued to them, bureaucratic regulations deemed oppressive, and the subsequent waste of time because of it all.
Local veterans continue to complain about the problems at the Roseburg facility, which officials hope will be eased with the opening of the new clinic in Brookings next month.
The space on Railroad Street is twice as big — a major complaint of both providers and patients at the clinic on Fifth Street — and will offer more of everything currently offered, most notably for mental health.
At the time, he said he was signing up “provider agreements” with physicians on the coast so veterans can ask their primary care doctor who they can see for specialty work. Paxton admitted he didn’t know until that night that Gold Beach and Crescent City clinics had not been included on that list — and he promised to get them signed up.
Others have said, and continue to say, that the only way to get their needs attended to is to complain — and then they are labeled as being troublesome.
Paxton also said last year he will personally investigate — and fix — issues presented that night, including the transit bus that can’t accommodate certain kinds of motorized scooters and won’t pick people up at home.