The Orlando VA tweeted this just before last weekend.
“There are many perks to living in the sunshine state, including the specialized #VA care for #Veterans. No need to call or take time out of your day for an appointment with countless available Self-Service Options. Take control of your health your way!”
While self service options are the wave of the future in medicine and can often shorten the path to seeing your doctor in the private sector, the VA using this technology is a reason for caution here in Orlando. This is because of their track record off brushing away veterans to avoid having them come into the facilities, and reducing the amount of oversight in their building (stories HERE and HERE).
You can already hear the voice on the phone trying to ask a veteran if they’ve exhausted all of their options online, when that vet simply wants to make an appointment to see their doctor.
Sometimes we must actually be in the same room as our service provider. And sometimes that service provider needs to be in the same room as that vet to properly diagnose care. Especially when it comes to symptoms regarding depression.
It’s much hard to open up on the phone or to a webcam than it is to a live person who is actually sitting in front of you.
These new services should be an option for the vet, not a mandatory choice shoved at them by VA officials to avoid making their jobs harder.
That many sound harsh to some, but this is the culture at the VA, including right here in Orlando, where lazy leadership continues to let our men and women who served down.
If vets were getting the personal care that they earned for their service, then the suicide rate wouldn’t be so high. We need more in person visits with veterans, not less.
So, Orlando veterans and their families must carefully watch how the leadership at Lake Baldwin clinic and at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona use this technology, and if they’re using it appropriately.
Otherwise, they’re just using it as another tool to let us down.