Navy veteran Thomas Breem was so proud of his military service that he would not consider going to any but a Veteran’s Hospital. Suffering from bladder cancer, the 71-year-old veteran is reported to have died while waiting for an appointment at a Phoenix, Ariz. hospital for veterans.The news media reports a terrible story of the cover up of records. The names of veterans seeking medical service were changed in an appointment book as they died without getting an appointment, according to the report. The names were stricken from the record, making it seem as if they never applied for an appointment.
The administrator is in very hot water, as she certainly should be. Forty Veterans, seeking treatment at the hospital, have reportedly died while on the bogus appointment list.
Having had experience with Veteran’s health facilities, I have no idea if other VA clinics or hosptials are doing that, but I know they are not all like that. I have been going to the Hot Springs, S.D. VA Clinic for checkups and treatment for many years and have had very good care.
Those doctors and nurses do their best to determine if I need treatment, and if so, what kind I may need. They are concerned about the health of the veterans whose care they are responsible for, and they show it in every way. The nurses sometimes call me at home to see how I am doing.
In talking about the Veteran’s Clinic, a woman I know once said, “They just want you to die so they don’t have to take care of you.”
I told her there couldn’t be anything further from the truth than that statement.
I can understand ignorance, but I cannot condone total disregard of officials who have the power to make life or death decisions, regarding the welfare of people in a situation of having to put their trust in them.
I don’t know if any doctors were involved in the scheme. It was reported that a doctor at the facility was the whistleblower who brought the cover up to light. If a doctor was involved, that would have made it even worse, having taken the Hippocratic oath to do his best to help those in need.
Willard Hollopeter is a cowboy poet and columnist who lives in Wood Lake, Neb.