Many of the Veterans Affairs hospitals are completely dysfunctional, as reported in an article by The New York Times and quoted in the Merced Sun-Star (May 21). As a WWII veteran, serving for four years overseas in a combat zone, I am now being treated by the VA hospital in Fresno for a service-connected disability, in addition to a cancer problem. My main concern is the Fresno hospital has only one urologist to treat not only Fresno, but all the surrounding San Joaquin Valley area.
My treatment has been coordinated by phone through a nurse coordinator in Fresno as it is almost impossible to have an appointment with the one doctor. This lack of urology doctors has placed a huge burden on the doctor, and deprives many veterans of the kind of care they really need. In Phoenix, there were 41 veterans who died because of lack of proper treatment. There are reports of misconduct at other veterans hospitals.
In 2008, President Barack Obama, while running for election, promised to address problems within the VA hospital system. Like many of his campaign promises, nothing was done, and now we are seeing the results at the expense of the many veterans who did so much for our country.
Jose F. Ovalle, Merced