In the wake of the revelations of long delays in health care for U.S. veterans, Texas Medical Association (TMA) physicians have led the call for President Barack Obama and Congress to act immediately to enable American veterans to access health care they need outside of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system.
Texas and Florida physicians urged government action today at the American Medical Association (AMA) annual conference in Chicago. AMA’s governing body passed the proposal.
The resolution calls for “the President of the United States [to] take immediate action to provide timely access to health care for eligible veterans utilizing the health care sector outside the Veterans Administration” until VA can provide health care in a timely fashion. The physicians also called for Congress to pass a bipartisan, long-term solution to ensure veterans can receive timely health care.
The AMA house also voted to “encourage all physicians to participate, when needed, in the health care of veterans.”
“Our veterans have stepped up and served our country, so physicians want to be able to step in and serve them,” said Austin I. King, MD, TMA’s president. “It is tragic that our veterans have been forced to wait for the health care they need and deserve, so Texas physicians and our colleagues across the nation want to help care for them until the VA can right the ship.”
A recent audit of the VA system found “systemic problems” resulting in nearly 60,000 veterans waiting for health care appointments, and a widespread effort to make wait times appear shorter than they are.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.