Dr. Margaret Moxness, a psychiatrist employed by the VA in West Virginia, has told Fox News that at least two of her patients committed suicide during months-long waits between psychiatric appointments:
“I was in a very tight-knit community,” Moxness said. “There was lots of extracurricular support: family, faith, vet centers. So we had help, but no thanks to the VA. …I mean, these men were eventually going to need more than a visit every 10 months.”
Moxness, a psychiatrist, says the VA administrators lost touch with patients and claims they were compassionless.
“They don’t really experience what the doctors and nurses are experiencing, which is the suffering and the pain and the death,” she said.
Calls to the VA for comment on Moxness’ allegations have not been returned.
Moxness, who is currently writing a book on suicide, said her patients would be forced to wait “months” for a second visit. She said that “means they’re partially treated, which means they’re worse off than no treatment at all.”
Moxness said when she complained to her supervisors that it was harmful to partially treat patients, they stopped talking to her.
“I was functionally silenced,” she said.
Medical care and government bureaucracy are a very bad combination, a lesson that I fear we will all be learning the hard way very soon.
It’s also worth remembering that in 2007, Senator/Candidate Obama harshly criticized the Bush Administration for “deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals, and neglect[ing] the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes.” And we know that during the transition between administrations, incoming Obama personnel were warned “that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care.”