Help is on the way for patients of the troubled Washington DC VA Medical Center.
A series of News 4 I-Team investigations revealed equipment breakdowns, delayed surgeries and sterilization problems at the giant hospital in the District. The VA acknowledges problems at the medical center. There have been supply shortages and a lot of turnover in the management. Meanwhile, it must handle more than 100,000 patients a year.
To ease the burden, the VA is building a new satellite clinic in Montgomery County off Gaither Road, near I-270. It will provide patients an alternative to making the trek to the DC Medical Center.
The new clinic will open just after Labor Day, but patients will be able to make appointments beginning Monday. Some of the services will include primary care doctors, lab work and mental health care.
"Our veterans in this county have been asking for this for decades," said Michael Subin, the a Veterans Affairs liaison for Montgomery County. "We're so appreciative to the VA for this. We can get those veterans the medical attention they need."
VA officials say these clinics do help ease the pressure on the major medical centers. But they also acknowledge there is still much to do to improve the DC facility.
News4 I-Team reporting shows air conditioning still needs to be fixed, refrigeration systems improved and the Medical Center is still awaiting the hiring of a new full-time director.