WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Veterans' Advocate Patrick Welch

Veterans' Advocate Patrick Welch

May 11, 2014|

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It's hard line on news radio 930 WB -- good morning this is Dave -- We're looking ahead to the week to come and what may -- to expect out of Washington. Coming up at twelve noon by the way Meet the Press will certainly touch on this issue but I -- localize the movement. Earlier this week and I believe it was Wednesday a house panel voted to subpoena records related to a secret waiting list at a Phoenix Veterans Hospital. Following allegations of patient deaths there delays in care summon congress even want veterans affairs secretary Eric consecutive resigned. House speaker John Boehner says he's not ready to -- join the chorus of people calling on him to step down. But it is an issue that is likely to percolate a little more this week and I'm guessing here it's an issue that to some degree has been experienced by. Or at least talked about. Amongst the local veterans community let's bring in Patrick Welch he's a professional veterans advocate. A certainly -- wounded marine himself a guy we've had on this program before to discuss these sort of issues Patrick thanks for joining us. Thank you for having been -- good morning at all the late. In your audience in what. Amen to that. I don't wanna say that people have died at the veterans affairs medical center either in Western New York or. Batavia in the same way that is being talked about on the national scene. But I'm wondering if the delay isn't fair. The frustration the possibility maybe of people having. Fudging lists of when patients were seen and when they weren't. Is that universal is that something that in the veterans you've talked to you've heard anything like. Well first the Baltimore medical center -- a modestly one the best medical centers in the country. Backs. We are aware. Of course the country. Oral exam it -- exhibits where. It's it's fourteen bit waiting list has been abused him and what our mandate that BA is supposed to make contact. Schedule the appointments with veterans within fourteen date. And what some of the facility have been doing. Is making contact with a net fourteen day period TCU will be getting all in the future. Is scheduled appointment. Barrel for when they're reporting they're not -- they are saying well we made contact with the veteran wouldn't fourteen -- anchor. And the fourteen days as a statutory requirement. Now. I wonder if that speaks so I -- we say about this system being good system and I have heard a lot of others say that yes it works really well for them. But I know if I need to see my doctor I can pick up the phone and there's a pretty good chance that he's going to -- and a lot less time. Then two weeks. Is two weeks too long anyway. Well it's the standard and that has been established multiple -- handers that that VA care. You know from my personal perspective I have not ever had any issues. In getting appointments within a fourteen day period. So you know that the guidelines set. The -- -- set on a lot of other miracles statistics that they keep our very very rigorous. And so these people. Sometimes we'll have a tendency to go wow and that number so that they're hitting the Coles -- that established. But there is some ambiguity. In what is actually happening in getting the treatment of -- time. You know I've talked before and oftentimes. Talked a little bit about the complaints that veterans have the ideas they're not always getting the care they need. Two of them does this is the issue resonate as -- this one more item on the list or. Is it something they don't care about because it hasn't affected as many people perhaps -- think. No I think it's you can change in perception that trend. This is Albert BA war and a lot of the reasons why you know buyer from Vietnam. Stayed away from the although it is interest and no debt most of the claims that are being -- all the talk service officers around community right now. Are from Vietnam and most of the younger generation. But every -- and something like this comes up. It's. Typically answerable veteran -- well again there's been the year that our -- but wonder. Could only -- screw -- every chance they get. And in light of that how do you see this than playing out politically. In Washington. Well politically -- all watch what I say on that because I listened earlier I am not a candidate lieutenant Governor Cuomo beat it and scratched off. -- but here I thought they had an exclusive. It hit it but political. I think you're gonna flying that the pressure on general shinseki is gonna increase. All I have had the good fortune to be in and speaking to him a couple different times she was an office. He is a good man. He wants very badly to make it work. But it's 300000. Person organization. And he's talked to move. And make a quick turn with the ship that big. Do you see him surviving this. Personally -- do. How soon does the -- fall. Well that's hard for -- to gauge Dave but that I hate my -- would be within ninety days. It will be determined whether you stay user goes. You said just a second ago that this is a big ship to turn on a dime. Earlier in the program were discussing the buffalo school system and superintendent Pamela brown. Those who defenders say that three years isn't enough time. And and that you know you really have to be careful what you do if you get rid of her what comes next social let me ask you something similar. If you get rid of sincerity what comes next does that create more chaos. Does that. Fix anything. Well in my conversations. So would general options like we you know we talked about -- and who was secretary of the VA and in the sport when it's about three years. So he's been there five years now and has its headed in the all time to make changes. He has made a lot of great changes between the veterans community support greatly. But I think what's happened -- you've you've got to. Culture within that EA that says you know we we do things our way this -- a temporary course and office. And will serve bite him. Well I think there needs to be a lot of changes in what's called senior executive service at the BA. To make those things happen because most be pure crap just why don't want secretary to a dollar. Tommy then you said two seconds ago there are things he's done that she liked. -- praise him but then also tell me what has been on done in the five years. Well I think that these changes that he made with regard of veterans were heading schema cart CE. -- so leukemia. The presumptive for Egypt warned were very very good. -- he's moved he's done some good work with the backlog. Although it you know in our. Situation we won't ever find it acceptable. And from the balance side I think working hard to make people understand. That they are very disturbed. Veterans. As bad as their primary job and there are still some people within the PA it's still look at it is just job. So his successor is job number one assuming again that maybe he's gone. What is his of this success is number one job. To make some mile high levels step -- is no particular service. I met a couple of those people. Hand and not particularly enamored with a home. Well we had one you know last year with the golden age games when somebody cancel -- Specter's sudden yours work. To bring them here -- he did flyers of course. Canceled the golden age -- comment that awful. So he's willing to make some changes. I don't think he swap hard enough that those people. Are not on board with what needs to happen. All right Patrick and they've -- to -- to get to off with you thanks for joining us this morning. My pleasure thank you very much that's Patrick -- a former Erie county commissioner veterans affairs professional veterans advocate.