A Third Of Idaho Veterans Surveyed Tell Sen. Crapo They’re Unhappy With VA Services

Nov 10, 2014

Sign outside the Boise VA hospital.
Credit Donald Sandquist / Flickr Creative Commons

In a survey released by Republican Sen. Mike Crapo's office a third of more than 1,000 Idaho veterans who responded say they're unhappy with health care through the Veterans Administration.

Veterans’ issues have been in the news a lot this year after the system was rocked by accusations that 40 vets died while waiting for care at a government hospital in Phoenix. The scandal led to new legislation.

Crapo wanted to know how Idaho veterans felt they were being treated, so staff reached out to vet support organizations around Idaho to find people to take the survey.

By the end-of-September deadline, they had more than 1,000 respondents. Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern says about half of the vets surveyed were happy with the Idaho VA services they’d received.

The breakdown of responses to Crapo's survey
Credit Courtesy Sen. Mike Crapo's office.

A third of vets surveyed were unhappy. Some complained of waits for surgeries or treatments, but Nothern says most of the complaints were about communication.

“Many people felt the VA wasn’t either receptive or didn’t understand what they were asking for or they were not happy with the response they received,” Nothern says.

Why vets surveyed were very unsatisfied.
Credit Courtesy Sen. Mike Crapo's office.

Nothern thinks some of the issues with wait times will be fixed by the bill Congress passed in August giving more money to the V-A and allowing vets access to more doctors outside the government-run system. But customer service issues are another matter.

Crapo’s staff has prepared a report on their survey findings. Northern says they’ll sit down with V-A officials in Idaho sometime in the next month to present that and talk about ways to improve the system.

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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