At a recent town hall, several military veterans expressed their concerns that they have been getting denied pain medications that they previously were receiving. The town hall was held at the VA Medical Center with about two-dozen veterans. One of them, a veteran of the Iraq war, said that there had been a “red flag” placed on his and his wife’s prescriptions by the VA. This caused his wife to suffer through withdrawal and pain.

In response, the director of VA Northern Indiana, explained that due to the country-wide issues with opioid addiction, the VA has to be more careful with the highly addictive medication. He said that the goal wasn’t to simply cut people off, but to taper veterans down slowly to reduce withdrawal symptoms. As the husband of the wife going through withdrawals said, he believes that it’s the VA’s job to make sure that he and his wife and all veterans shouldn’t have to be in pain when there’s a solution right in from them.

Other concerns raised among veterans was the difficulty with getting service quickly. There were reported delays in getting treatments, and in getting help over the phone. The automated phone system is difficult to navigate, so veterans had difficulty getting timely information and answers to their questions. For their part, the VA officials suggested that concerns can be addressed in-person at any medical center instead of waiting for town hall meetings. The VA stated that they have a goal of responding to every call within 48 hours, and that they don’t want problems to fester for months or even years.

The VA Medical Center addressed concerns regarding a doctor shortage. They are currently recruiting for new doctors, such as a dermatologist and podiatrists. They provided information on several construction projects and renovations to various facilities. All of these changes are aimed at making the level of care for veterans even higher.

There were some positive thoughts for the meeting as well. One veteran mentioned how great the nursing staff is, and another discussed how caring the health care team is as well. With the focus on improving care, hopefully the VA can continue to offer veterans the quality health care they deserve.

If you are in need of a Veterans attorney, do not hesitate to contact Gustad Law online or by calling 206-533-2222.


“Vets express pain over pills | Local | Journal Gazette.” The Journal Gazette, Accessed 28 Aug. 2017.