The American Medical Association will seek the help of private sector physicians to provide health care for veterans still waiting for care through the troubled US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system while the system works to resolve its care access issues, according to a press release.
Additionally, the AMA will petition Congress to quickly enact legislation to address the issue of timely care for eligible veterans.
The AMA brought the issue to a vote on Tuesday, resolving to ask President Obama to enlist the health care sector outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) while the VA crisis is resolved.
According to an audit just released by the VA, more than 57,000 veterans are still waiting for their first medical appointment at VA facilities, while 64,000 patients enrolled in the VA system have never had an appointment.
The AMA is proposing that state and local medical societies formulate registries of physicians who are ready and willing to provide care for veterans, according to the press release. These registries can then be accessed by local communities and VAs across the country to expedite medical care for waiting veterans.
According to incoming AMA president Robert M. Wah, MD, physicians in the US now have an opportunity to play a meaningful role in serving those who served the country.
“The AMA believes that all Americans should have access to health care, especially those who bravely serve our country,” Wah said in the release. “Our nation’s physicians can and should be a part of the solution to this national crisis to ensure America’s veterans get access to the care they need and deserve.”