Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Defending Its System

Monday, June 2nd 2014, 7:08 pm
By: News 9

The director and CEO of the Oklahoma City VA confirmed the hospital does not have a waiting list and there are no unknown paper documents.

But local veterans say they're still concerned.

"It's sad it's taken them vets dying on that waiting list to get this attention," said Former Marine Eli Dixon.

Frustration continues to grow for former marine Eli Dixon.

"We have nothing good to say about the VA as a whole. The system needs to be fixed," said Dixon.

Dixon continues to try and have an understanding for the Veteran Affairs Medical System. Even though he sometimes has trouble getting care for issues he has to face, such as, PTSD, severe migraines, and back pain.

Eli said it took him 6-7 filings throughout four years, just for the VA to recognize those injuries as service related.

"It hasn't been hell. I won't say its hell, but when you see something in the mail for the VA you expect it to be bad news, no, we can't help you here," said Dixon.

"I would stack us up against anybody," said Oklahoma City VA Medical Center CEO/Director Daniel L. Marsh.

Daniel L. Marsh is the director and CEO of the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center and notes his hospital is guided by laws, but his priorities remain with the patients.

"If our staff member does not demonstrate the appropriate attitude and compassion toward our veterans we will work with them to get that corrected," said Marsh. "If they don't then we'll have to do something less desirable."

Marsh also defends his hospitals overall care and staff to patient ratio.

Eli agrees the doctors are adequate once he's in the system, but getting in is the issue.

"Just be rebuilt from the ground up," said Dixon.

If that's what the federal government decides to do Marsh has volunteered his hospital to pilot that program.

"There's probably lots of rooms for improvement where the laws need to change, yes," said Marsh.

Marsh also mentioned his hospital conducts reviews every morning to check patient appointments and look for any negative trends.

He also welcomes the national review by the Inspector General.

Possibly the biggest suggestion the hospital provided was a patient advocate hotline, encouraging patients to call if there are any issues.

That local phone number is 405-456-1788 or other calls to 1-866-519-2004.

Also to note: Marsh said there is no waiting list at the hospital but the home care offered in Lawton does have a short waiting list due to under staffing.

Total the Oklahoma VA Medical System cares for 57,000 total vets, it sees close to 520,000 outpatients a year and the average wait time for new patients is nine and a half days.