Letter: Richland Veterans Clinic for appointments, not emergencies

July 31, 2013 

The Richland Veterans Clinic is not an emergency facility!

I sympathize with the soldier and his injured leg ("VA criticism goes viral, Herald July 22). However, there are a few facts that maybe need to be clarified in defense of the veterans clinic in Richland.

My husband was treated there for many years, along with many veterans who received good, compassionate and respectful care. The veterans clinic is just as it is, an appointment clinic, Not an urgent care clinic.

I don't believe anyone from the Walla Walla veterans facility told him to go to the Richland clinic because they know full well that you must make a appointment to be seen there. But before you are ever seen, you must be registered with Veterans Affairs in this region and all records must be transferred. This is their procedure, and it's not a walk-in urgent care clinic. I am disappointed in this couple for trying to trash the wonderful people at the VA Medical Center who have provided wonderful and gracious work during many years in treating our veterans.

And I am more disappointed in the Tri-City Herald for writing a one-sided, trashy article without knowing all the facts.

If a veteran has an emergency, he or she can be seen at any hospital and the hospital will make out the paperwork for billing the VA as long as the patient notifies the VA within 72 hours. However, to be eligible, you first must be registered as a veteran in this region with the Walla Walla office. This is the way its done.

BARBARA I. WHITNEY, Pasco

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