Franken Pushing for Rural Veteran Care Improvement

Franken Pushing for Rural Veteran Care Improvement Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:36 am

WASTHINGTON (KNSI) – Minnesota Senator Al Franken spoke before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday, and urged them to act quickly on his Rural Veterans Health Care Improvement Act.

Franken says the purpose of the legislation is very straightforward, to improve the quality of health care for veterans living in rural areas. And he says that includes emergency care.

"Understandably many rural clinics are not equipped to handle many types of emergencies including heart attacks, strokes and mental health emergencies," Franken said. "They simply go beyond the capacity of these relatively small clinics."

The bill would attempt to prepare rural clinics for emergencies that may arise.

"Our legislation will require VA to ensure that all rural health care providers are actually identifying their clinical capacity and that they have a contingency plan for how they will handle emergencies that exceed that capacity."

Franken says more than 40-percent of the nation's veterans live in rural areas, which presents a challenge to accessing quality care through the V-A system.

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