It’s no secret VA hospitals have been in complete disarray. Stories of veterans being neglected, left to die, or stuck on long waiting lists are all too common. To make matters worse, the bloated bureaucracy has made accountability at the VA almost impossible, resulting in management failures of epic proportions.
Our veterans deserve much better than the conditions they are being subjected to. However, new photos have surfaced that show just how poorly our fighting men and women are being treated by the VA system.
Needless to say, they’re disturbing.
From Fox News:
Photos of elderly veterans in extreme pain waiting for treatment at a VA hospital in Durham, North Carolina, are going viral.
Retired Marine Stephen McMenamin and his wife, Hannah, were waiting at the Durham VA Medical Center when they noticed two veterans who were struggling in the waiting room.
They said both older men were ignored for hours despite complaining of severe pain. They said one practically fell out of his wheelchair, and the other finally lay down on the floor after being denied a place to rest.
McMenamin told WSB-TV that his wife found the scene “upsetting,” so she took pictures and posted them to Facebook.
The photos make all too clear to the shocking realities we have been reading about:
In the middle photo, the veteran in the blue and white checkered shirt looks clearly in distress while he waits. However, he is later seen collapsed on the floor, still without anyone around to render medical attention.
Predictably, the photos went viral, leading to an outpouring of anger from concerned citizens. To some, this is their first glimpse into just how bad the VA health system has gotten.
Word of the viral photos reached the VA, who later released this statement:
We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review.
It is an honor to serve America’s heroes and actions that do not align with our core values will not be tolerated. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care to the Veterans we serve and being responsive to our patient’s needs. Veterans deserve nothing less.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
Thankfully, President Trump recognizes this important issue, and made it a cornerstone of his campaign. He has promised to work hard to fix the broken VA system and ensure our veterans get the care they deserve. These photos make clear just how much work is still to be done.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]