Sen. presses VA to allow Western N.D. vets local health care

At a recent U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Senator John Hoeven pressed Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA Under Secretary for Health Robert A. Petzel to allow veterans in western North Dakota to access health care services in the local community when available.

Posted April 4, 2014

Currently, the VA offers services in the western part of the state through local outpatient community clinics in Williston, Minot and Dickinson, but veterans are compelled to travel to the Fargo VA facility for some services that are not offered by the VA clinics but that could be performed by local health care providers.

“We’re asking the VA to come up with a plan enabling veterans to get more services at local clinics and hospitals in western North Dakota rather than drive to Fargo for routine tests like MRIs and CT Scans or chemotherapy,” Hoeven said.

“We have the hospitals and health care providers in the community, but we need the VA to come up with a plan so that our veterans aren’t facing an 800-mile roundtrip drive to Fargo for a service that could be performed nearby.”

Hoeven further highlighted the need for enabling veterans to access services locally by pointing to reports from the Veterans Service Officer for Williams County.

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