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Start here to fix VA care in Philipines


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I'll cut to the chase here and I'm not going to sugar coat it ..

 

If the VA in Manila closed it would not mean jack squat to me because it does me absolutely, zero, zip, NO good. In a way I'd like to see that happen so that I could watch the employees there scramble to lobby the legislators to change the law because there are "so many veterans living here who have non service connected problems that could be helped and treated".

 

The FMP keeps getting thrown around in these discussions and let's face it, the FMP is just about as useless as the Manila OPC is for most of us.

 

The subject of "cost and expense" usually comes up. Does it really cost more to treat a vet here than in the US? I'm betting it's cheaper here. Of course because I'm living here instead of the US and either go without medical care here or pay for it out of pocket, then the VA is saving money on me and all the rest living here and doing without. So while they may need a bigger budget here, they should trim their budget in the US so it would balance out in the end.

 

Suggesting that we shouldn't get the same level of care because the exchange rate is 44+ is about the lamest excuse I've heard to date. And saying if we want equal care then we should move back to the US is equally lame. NO ONE has said that they should build a new VA hospital here to accommodate us. All I've ever heard is that we want to be treated here at the one that already exists. Hell, it's even on embassy grounds. I can't even get my meds here unless I want to smuggle them in which is more total crap. Maybe I could find one of the fortunate few that have an FPO address here, have it sent to them and then forwarded to me. Utter BS.

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I have to admit I am shocked and very surprised at your post. I can't fathom how a fellow veteran could feel the way you've expressed, but I respect your right to your opinion but we'll just have to a

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I just got this card in the mail a couple months ago. Does this solve the problem?

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Can I get service when I'm in the Philippines with it?

 

On the face of it, this seems to be an answer. Is there some loophole where they can get out of it?

Edited by Pman
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Pman that same question has been asked before but if someone answered it then I missed it. It would seem to be a solution. Maybe you could call, ask them, and report back? I'm still waiting on my latest packet of mail to arrive from the US and I hope the card is in it. If no one has an answer by then I'll try to get in touch with VA and ask.

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NOSOCALPINOY

I just got this card in the mail a couple months ago. Does this solve the problem?

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Can I get service when I'm in the Philippines with it?

 

On the face of it, this seems to be an answer. Is there some loophole where they can get out of it?

Just follow their instructions how to get medical health care and let us all know how far you got! 

I too have a VA disability, but I haven't yet to rely on any VA clinics and I have not yet

received my VA Choice Card in the mail. All I can say is, good luck! 

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TDCNINJA

Gentlemen and Ladies (if any are present), I have been giving thought to this problem and have come to the conclusion that writing to our individual Congressional Representatives (Senate and House) isn't going to do much good - as some of you have noted, you are not even receiving a courtesy acknowledgement that your emails or snail mails have been received.

 

I think the best way to approach this issue, is to get the ear(s) of one or more Veteran Service Organizations  Am Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veteran of Foreign Wars, to name a few.  They all have lobbying functions and can get to the Ears of many in Congress and represent a combined 2 Million Plus Veterans.  However, it will not be easy.  We want the VA in Manila to act the same as VA's in the rest of the US and it's Territories.  Well physical size would have to be considered more medical personnel, and other issues that I am sure exists but I don't know what they are - yet

 

For those Veterans - some of whom post to this Forum, that live outside of the Philippines, they get their medical care through the Foreign Medical Program - it is managed by the VA via I believe the Pittsburgh VARO and Medical Center.  You are required to pay first and then submit your receipts for the Service Connected part of your treatments to Pittsburgh and hope that you will be reimbursed some time in the near future.  I bring this up, in case the VA and Congress determines that providing medical care in the Philippines at the same level that it is applied in the US, would not be worth the expense and they decide to close the VA in Manila - then like our Brothers and Sisters in say Thailand, we would also be on the FMP, paying up front and hoping that I get some of my money back before I die....

 

We also will be faced with skepticism from the VSO's - we are living in the Philippines, the current exchange rate is 44+ pesos to one dollar and now we are asking that the VA treat us the same as Veterans living in the US?  I would not be surprised that many of these VSO's may suggest that if we want equal treatment, then moving back to the US might be the best solution.

 

However, with that said, I would be willing to talk to the VFW in the Philippines and Pacific Areas about this issue - it would have to include changes to the FMP.  My plate is fairly full, what with commitments to the VFW, my own medical issues, and my family - so I am not going to commit to a formal time table- 

 

Anybody a member of Am Legion, DAV or any other VSO that would like to start the process with them?

 

Michael Tierney

mpt1947

 

I have to admit I am shocked and very surprised at your post. I can't fathom how a fellow veteran could feel the way you've expressed, but I respect your right to your opinion but we'll just have to agree to disagree.
 
As far as the situation with non-service connected treatment at VA facilities in the Philippines, and addressing the discrepancies in service that we veterans experience as a result of our choice to reside in the Philippines, many, if not all of us, are damned tired of not being able to receive treatment for non-service connected medical conditions. It’s high time for the VFW, American Legion, DAV and we, the local veteran community, get off our collective asses and DEMAND equal and fair treatment – no better and no worse than our brother and sister veterans receive at US-based facilities.
 
In my not so humble opinion, there seems to be a long standing practice within the slowly rotating leadership of the above named service organizations in the Philippines to not make waves and go with the flow and grovel at the feet of Manila VA.
 
I once told a veterans service officer of my opinion and he scolded me and told me to “never complain to congress” for fear that they would shut down Manila VA altogether. It seems to me that they are so concerned with their positions within these service organizations, as well as squabbling for the scraps at Manila VA’s food table, that they have forgotten their mission and why they exist in the first place. 
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