Look, I know there are a lot of local veterans that love the Cheyenne VA and the services they have received there, but these vets have got to be the exception to the rule.
After getting fed up with not being able to see (even with my glasses on), I decided in July that it was time to get my eyes checked again. And… I need stronger glasses. As I was lamenting over the cost of new glasses, etc. with a friend of mine, I was informed that in my case I can get glasses through the VA.
So I stop at the VA Eye Clinic one day with my new eye script in hopes of checking out some new glasses. Nope. Can’t just stop in to the eye clinic, I have to get my Primary Care Provider (that changes every 6 months and I see once a year) to enter a consult into the system and the clinic will call me to schedule an appointment.
CST — “So even with my VA ID Card, a thumbprint, and possibly a blood or stool sample, I can’t just schedule an appointment with you today while I’m standing here?”
VA Employee — “No sir, not without a consult.”
Hmmmm… okay. Typical bureaucracy; I’ll play your stupid game. On July 22nd, I send a message to my PC over the VA’s Secure Message system asking if he would enter a consult for me to the Eye Clinic as I’ve already had the exam and have a script. 3 days later, I receive this reply:
Now at this point I have to take some ownership because for over a month I’ve been bitching about how bad my eyes have gotten and that even with my current glasses I’m having issues. So today I finally get fed up after not being able to see across the room at work and call the Eye Clinic to see what’s the deal.
VA Employee — “Well Sir, the reason nobody has called you to schedule an appointment is very simple, a consult was never entered into the system.”
CST — “You have GOT to be shitting me…”
Seriously? I know a lot of people may think that this is an exaggeration, but for me this is the rule rather than the exception. I just can’t believe how many times my shit gets screwed up on the medical and the benefits side of the VA.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some fabulous people that work at the VA and they truly care about the vets. But there are some that just seem to not give a shit and can’t complete a simple task.
And the system? Kiss. My. Ass.
When an eligible veteran can’t walk in with proper identification and schedule services to which they are entitled, something is very wrong.