Neugebauer To Meet With West Texas VA Officials 9/3/13
September 3rd, 2013
The beds at the inpatient care unit have sat unused for over a year, as the VA is sending vets to their local hospitals for the service.
"Some of the facilities we send our veterans to are large clinical services, that have a lot of services that we would not be able to provide," said West Texas VA Interim Director Andrew Welch.
Congressman Randy Neugebauer says there are advantages to keeping vets in their local communities.
"I think it makes sense because in many cases asking that veteran to travel 100, 200 miles for care a three, four day hospital stay may not be the best way to care for that veteran," he said.
He asked for a delay in the closure to address some concerns. Mainly whether or not the VA could guarantee veterans benefits at other hospitals.
"We want to make sure that if the VA is sending them to these other hospitals that the transition will be seamless," he said.
VA officials says they are communicating with hospitals in the area to make sure vets retain their benefits. Still, mayor Larry McLellan says the closing inpatient care could hurt Big Spring.
"We don't want to lose one part of the VA service," he said.
The West Texas VA says they expanding services including telecare and Big Spring will continue to play a pivotal role.
"When you talk about telecare, we actually hire people here in Big Spring who actually provide the telecare out to the clinics," Welch said.