Military Veteran Dies At VA Hospital 500 Yards From Emergency Room

Could the bureaucracy at Veterans Affairs hospitals get any worse even as we celebrate the Declaration of Independence on July 4 and remember the soldiers who took up arms for our freedom?

The latest: An elderly military veteran collapsed at the Albuquerque, N.M., VA hospital cafeteria and tragically died during a 30-minute wait for an ambulance to take him to the emergency room located in the next building.

The ER is about a five minute walk or 500 yards from the cafeteria, and the man could have been transported there on a gurney.

Instead, under existing VA policy, VA staff inexplicably must call 911 and wait for an outside ambulance to transport the person to the ER. After this tragedy involving a 71-year-old vet, the VA indicated that this policy is under review.

The Albuquerque Fire Department was dispatched to the cafeteria around lunchtime on Monday. According to Albuquerque ABC News affiliate KOAT, “By the time the ambulance got to the cafeteria, loaded up the veteran and drove him around the building, it was too late to save the veteran.” Air Force medical personnel reportedly performed CPR on the vet until the ambulance arrived.

Vet dies 500 yards from VA emergency room

Separately, as The Inquisitr previously reported, a seriously ill Vietnam War veteran finally heard back from the VA about scheduling an appointment with a primary care doctor. Tragically, by then the Massachusetts resident had already died from a brain tumor.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is engulfed in a corruption scandal involving secret waiting lists and other forms of alleged mismanagement at VA hospitals designed to conceal the true extent of the backlog for vets waiting for medical care, some of whom allegedly died while they were in limbo awaiting appointments.

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funeral for four homeless vets

To make matters worse, log-rolling VA executives handed out fat performance bonuses to each other while these bureaucratic shenanigans were going on. On the subject of those bonuses, according to CNN, “78% of VA senior managers qualified for extra pay or other compensation in fiscal year 2013 by receiving ratings of ‘outstanding’ or ‘exceeds fully successful’…”

Problems at the VA predated President Obama’s Democrat administration, but as part of his 2008 election campaign, Obama vowed to fix the VA. A report just issued by the Obama White House, however, blasted the Veterans Health Administration in the VA for having “a corrosive culture that has led to poor management, a history of retaliation toward employees, cumbersome and outdated technology, and a shortage of doctors, nurses and physical space to treat its patients.”

[image credit: Bing and coolcaesar]