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Today: Town hall on veterans' health care

By Tiffany Lam/Special to the Almanac

A town hall meeting about access to care at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System will be held on Monday, July 7, by Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, and Director of the Palo Alto Department of Veterans Affairs, Lisa Freeman.

The Palo Alto system includes the Menlo Park Veterans Affairs complex on Willow Road.

A national scandal recently broke after the VA's inspector general found that 1,700 veterans using a Phoenix hospital were kept on secret, unofficial wait lists that helped staff cover up treatment delays. Eighty-four percent of veterans had to wait more than two weeks to be seen at the Phoenix facility, and at least 40 died waiting for appointments, according to CNN.

The inspector general's report said the delays were a nationwide problem; at least 42 other centers are now under investigation for falsifying wait records.

Monday's meeting provides veterans an opportunity to learn about the VA's appointment process. VA staff will be available for consultation on individual circumstances regarding access to care; comments will be limited to the difficulty or ease with which it takes to see VA health care personnel, according to the meeting announcement.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. in Building 101 of the auditorium at the VA Palo Alto campus at 3801 Miranda Ave.

The VA Palo Alto Health Care System has three inpatient facilities located in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Livermore, and seven outpatient clinics in Northern California.

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