Salisbury VA Medical Center issues statement regarding access to healthcare

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Kaye Green, Director of the Salisbury VA Medical Center, released a statement through the hospital on Thursday to WBTV regarding access to healthcare at the facility.

The statement comes after increased scrutiny at VA hospitals across the country, and reports of delayed treatment and supposed secret waiting lists for access to care at a VA in Arizona.

Here in full is the statement received by WBTV:

Salisbury VA health care system remains committed to our mission of providing Veterans the highest quality healthcare possible in a timely manner and safe environment.

We are currently analyzing the results of recent audit reports and other information released by the Department of Veterans Affairs on June 9. Preliminarily, Salisbury VA leadership has noted many areas of strengths as well as opportunities for improvement, many of which we have already been addressing.

Salisbury VA served more than 91,000 Veterans last year and is projected to continue experiencing substantial growth over the next decade. Because of this, access to care has been – and will continue to be – a priority for us.

In May 2013, Salisbury VA leadership developed and began executing a comprehensive plan to improve access to care in several areas of the Salisbury VA health care system.

Approximately 250 staff have been hired over the past two years to build additional capacity and offer new services we feel our Veteran population deserves. Because of recognized shortages, Salisbury VA has had a strong focus on hiring additional mental health providers, primary care providers and scheduling clerks.

Salisbury VA has also increased capacity in oncology, orthopedics, vascular surgery and infectious disease through hiring measures.

We have increased our inpatient capacity where possible within our present footprint, and longer range plans exist to further increase our inpatient medical, surgical and intensive care capacity through future renovations.

We are thrilled to have opened a new 79,000 square foot state-of-the-art building for inpatient mental health care Wednesday to improve the healing environment for our Veterans in need of those services.

There will always be opportunities for improvement, and the leadership team and staff of the Salisbury VA system are committed to continuously improving our system and providing the best care possible.

We are proud to serve Veterans, and we appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from many Veterans who have told us they are pleased with their care at Salisbury.