Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting at the Miami VA

Well, I might as well write some here on my blog. Haven't been on in quite some time but i have had lots of encouragement to continue and some of my offline writings are ready for publication.
Here i sit at the Miami VA waiting for another prescription. I had an appointment with the dentist at 10:00am, now it is almost 3pm and i am still waiting.
After my dentist appointment, i had to see the Red team nurse to check my blood pressure. It was high. I hate dentists. Then i had to see the Red team pharmacist to get my pain medicine renewed and talk about my blood pressure. My blood pressure was in good control until i moved to Miami and they started tinkering with my blood pressure medications. Of course, being on prednisone doesnt help hypertension.
So, after i was done with the Red Team, i got in line to hand in my prescription to another pharmacist. Yes , i had to go from the Team Pharmacist to see another pharmacist to verify what i was picking up today. Well, that took a good 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the line for travel pay was down the hall and through the pharmacy waiting area. There are only 2 cashiers for this big hospital.
Before you get your travel pay, you have to stand in line to see a travel pay agent who verifies that you had an appointment and are due travel pay. Out of every travel pay, they deduct 6.00 for something, who knows what. That line was taking forever because one vet was arguing he did not require a deductible to be withdrawn anymore. Meanwhile, there are about 4 employees standing around and talking, another employee filing her nails, and a couple more watching the one employee deal with the angry vet. In the meantime, the line to see a travel pay agent is just getting longer and snaking down the hallway. While they watch us watch them, they seem to get a kick out of it, some enjoyment from seeing some of us vets getting more anxious, more angry, more impatient the longer it takes for 10 people to decide if the person has to pay the 6 dollar deductible. I mean come on people. It must be nice to have a job where you spend the majority of your time shooting the breeze and killing time to avoid working if at all possible.
I am not making this up.
After you get your paper from the travel pay agent, then you have to get back in another line to see the cashier. Make sure you stand behind the yellow line. The hallway is full of lines, one to pick up your medicine, one to see the travel pay agent, one for the cashier, one for the pharmacist(remember this one is the one to kill time for the pharmacy to get your meds ready-LOL). Heaven help the person who is here for the first time or an elderly vet with a hearing aid who is dumped off in the hallway needing transportation to his home. They could sit there for hours and not even be noticed.
So i got my ten dollars for travel and then i got in line to get my medicine. When i got to the window, the pharmacist said "We don't process your pain medicine until you get here to the window." What??!!!!!! WEll, didn't i just see 2 pharmacists in the past 2 hours? Now, i am standing in front of the 3rd pharmacist who says i have to go back to the waiting area and wait for my name up on the window.
So here i am , waiting, waiting, waiting and my hair is greying,greying, greying. I give up.
Does the American public want a healthcare system like this>?


  1. Jim McMillen....Thanks for posting mary Ann.
    I dont know what my small voice will do but here it is ( No wait I do know ! The comment box will no longer say 0 comments , It will say one & that is the beginning of making a difference ) It is a sad situation you speak of here. How people seem to be proud of the way they so willingly neglect any kind of moral work ethics & the hoops our government continually makes us jump through in hopes of detering us from seeking out that which we deserve as a U S Citizen . Especially those who have served to protect our way of life . Thank you for speaking out & for giving me the opportunity . I have often said the we are losing our rights so fast, that before you know it the only rights we will have left is the right to believe we have any

  2. Another two cents, Mary Ann. Those who serve our country should never be neglected in this fashion. I've found this in many VA medical areas including Seattle and in the DFW (Dallas - Fort Worth) area. When people see me walking down the street in a brace with a cane and pronounced limp, they ask what happened and when. They are shocked to find out it's a 30 year old injury I'm still in "talks" with the VA to fix and fix right - a knee replacement.

    A former civilian supervisor nailed some of it, calling it Waste, Fraud and Abuse, just putting virtual bandaids on conditions that are otherwise treatable and have been for years.

    Keep your voice going, I'll add mine.