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VA Healthcare in the Philippines?


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XBroker

I been going there for about 10 years. I am 10% service, but that causes most all my expensices.

They give me my meds for non connected, but will rarely do a consult, but care here is cheep. I get several thousands worth of meds a month. The corruption that took place with the RAO officer and vets / doctors a few years ago is the cause of much grieff to honest vetrans.

IF you get in the door, be very polite, and act nice if you want the care to continue. I have witnessed several openly beligerent vetrans who would have been arrested in the US for the s--t they pulled in that clinic. Thoese guards have 9mm autos , and a block house in the lobby for a reason. do not make eye contact or get in discussins with anyone who looks pissed or depressed in the facility. Lots of whakos there. met one who had all the manuals in a shachel when he came there, told me he just liked to Fek with them. The less time you spend in the lobby the better, go outside, sit in the break area, they will come and get you when they are ready.

Heck, I do that in the U.S. VA West Palm.  I don't sit in the waiting area w/ other (cra cra) vets.

One guy challenged me to a fight out of the blue. The one I went to up north was worse; but on the care side of things.

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It's a joke!!!!!! I'm 100% and LACK of care is one of the reasons we are returning to US. If you are not retired military and have any health issues, do NOT come here expecting any REAL care, unless,

One can have all the medical insurance needed but if you have a heart attack or minor accident and lie bleeding to death.....there is NO 911 to call and save your life.....thats the risk one takes liv

The VA cutbacks are really starting to show.   I went for my prostate exam today, and instead of lube the doctor spat on my asshole.

Bill H

So to recap this often discussed topic:

 

If you are not service connected for something they will not let you in the door.

 

If you are service connected for something, you can get an appointment a month or two hence and when you see the doctor he will probably refuse to discuss anything that is not listed on your SC list.  There are exceptions if you are nice, the doctor is in a good mood and likes you he might give a Non-SC a look, but getting him to approve lab work is a real crap shoot.

 

They are pretty good about getting you meds for non-SC issues, particularly if you were getting these meds in the states and it's listed on the pharmacy computer.  I have received antibiotics for non-SC infections by asking nicely and being very appreciative if I get what I need.  However, this is the exception not the rule.  The rule states very clearly they will not treat non-SC conditions.

 

I have never had any problems with the Guards in the blockhouse.  They have always been polite and professional, but then I am always polite and treat them with respect.

 

As with all things VA the entire culture is like a bureaucrat's wet dream.  They are very rule bound and not prone to making exceptions to the rules, but as many have stated being nice certainly helps.

 

Do not think that because you have a SC issue they will treat it.  I was denied some special testing for my SC disability because, "the test was too expensive."  Which was a real joke because my specialist at the VAMC Portland told me to request the specific test.  Almost everything of a specific nature beyond lab work is handled outside the facility.  The quality of care with local doctors is often suspect.  All the doctors at the Manila clinic are local doctors.  Got it?

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RogerDat

I been going to VA Manila since 2005. They are mostly the same doctors today as back then.

The American admin staff has been sacked for corruption at lest once, and maybe twice in that time.

Hampton VA in US has about 1/3 of its doctors from other countries.

My clinic nurse, (red) emails me at night to see if I have recived my meds and such.

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TDCNINJA

One thing that I forgot to are is that if you are enrolled in vocational rehab you may receive treatment for any and all conditions whether service-connected or not. If you are in this category you will usually receive a letter of authorization to receive treatment at a local hospital.

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cebubird

I been going to VA Manila since 2005. They are mostly the same doctors today as back then.

The American admin staff has been sacked for corruption at lest once, and maybe twice in that time.

Hampton VA in US has about 1/3 of its doctors from other countries.

My clinic nurse, (red) emails me at night to see if I have recived my meds and such.

 

"mostly the same"-----???? Hmmm

Think they do have some of the doctors who only handle claims, but I have now been assigned my 5th different pcp. @ of them left before I ever saw them. 2 left after 1 visit, and the 1st one I saw for 3 visits.

Meanwhile, I just checked the doctor I had for 5 years back in New Port Richey, prior to coming here, is still there.

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RogerDat

My PCP is Dr Lopez, my clinic nurse is Clair Ramos, The X ray guy is the same, and lab rats who knows.

They are the only ones I see, the optician is the same, but he does not see me. The pharmacy head has changed, A good thing I think .

My patent rep I have not spoken to in some years, they don.t pay travel to me anymore, so no need. My original rep, Precious, is in admin now, if I see her, she always says hi, but I do not hang about inside much as I say so don't see anyone else.

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mpt1947

There have been some changes at the VA in the last few months, especially in regards to access.  Walk Ins are Welcome.  You do not need an appointment to enter the clinic, however you can't jump the line.  In addition you can bring in Cell Phones, tablets, even laptops - the only thing they request is that you don't take photos

 

Medications - If you are enrolled in the VA in Manila before November 2013 you can receive your non service connected Meds.  If you are seeing a doctor outside the VA and they prescribe medications for your Service Connected issues, that the VA doesn't provide, you can request that the VA stock that medication.

 

Turn Over of VA Professional Staff, both at the Clinic and the Regional Office is done on rotational basis - every 5 years.

 

The justification to keep the OPC open used to be every 5 years, then 3 years and now it is on a yearly basis, with a years notice.

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mpt1947

"service connected"----hmmmm

Well, maybe not so much--they will deny things that are connected, even when the specialist they send you to, says it IS service connected.

They will deny-then tell you to go thru the claim process to TRY and get a refund>

Like ex231, I just gave up fighting with them and just pay out of pocket.

Bill, if you are seeing a doctor at the request of the VA and they diagnose you with an illness that isn't already Service Connected, you have to file a claim. You can use the VA's consultant to support your claim, but you still have to file one.  

 

This would be true in the US as well.  If you can take advantage of the Choice Program and a private physician diagnoses you with a disease that isn't already among your service connected issues, you would need to file a claim to receive increased disability.  Of course if you are in the US you will receive medical care whether it is service connected or not.

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cebubird

Bill, if you are seeing a doctor at the request of the VA and they diagnose you with an illness that isn't already Service Connected, you have to file a claim. You can use the VA's consultant to support your claim, but you still have to file one.  

 

Mike when the doctor they send you to says it IS CONNECTED, and some new ding dong pcp denies it and THEN you get a letter saying file a claim. I call BS, and that is why after multiple times of that, I just gave up on 'em.

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ex231

Mike when the doctor they send you to says it IS CONNECTED, and some new ding dong pcp denies it and THEN you get a letter saying file a claim. I call BS, and that is why after multiple times of that, I just gave up on 'em.

 

I just don't get it. Why are they like that? Seems to me that if anything they should be giving vets the benefit of the doubt instead of going the other way with it. Someone said you could get meds from them (maybe) for non sc issues but I don't even want to fool around with them for that. Seems easier just to reach in my pocket and pay, so that's what I do.

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lamoe

I just don't get it. Why are they like that? Seems to me that if anything they should be giving vets the benefit of the doubt instead of going the other way with it. Someone said you could get meds from them (maybe) for non sc issues but I don't even want to fool around with them for that. Seems easier just to reach in my pocket and pay, so that's what I do.

 

Rather simple - power / control for those who other wise have none.

 

My doc in Rockford is very accommodating - we've discussed my eventual move there and he indicated he'd help with any meds  - shots - tests - I only have to take high blood pressure now - but he's amiable to ( blue pills / dogie downers) getting me a 6 months supply before I leave. 

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XBroker

My PCP is Dr Lopez, my clinic nurse is Clair Ramos, The X ray guy is the same, and lab rats who knows.

They are the only ones I see, the optician is the same, but he does not see me. The pharmacy head has changed, A good thing I think .

My patent rep I have not spoken to in some years, they don.t pay travel to me anymore, so no need. My original rep, Precious, is in admin now, if I see her, she always says hi, but I do not hang about inside much as I say so don't see anyone else.

They were paying travel from your zip code back in the states, I assume. :sarcasm:

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Bill H

 

 

This would be true in the US as well.  If you can take advantage of the Choice Program

 

Veterans Choice Program?  Yeah, let's talk about that.  When I came back to the States I found a letter with a Veterans Choice card in it.  I thought to myself, "how cool is this, my problems with the VA are over."  Right.  After being here a month a VA specialist decided I need a test the VA can do, but the wait was 2.5 months and I needed the test soonest.  Perfect time for the Veterans Choice program I think, so I attempted to get the test at the OHSU hospital next door to the VA.  First I discovered the only way and I mean the ONLY way to start the process is to call an 800 number.  Ok, fine, except I'm deaf and I can't call 800 numbers and my wife is stuck in the PH waiting her Visa to be approved.  So, I go to the help desk and ask them if they can call the number for me, but they tell me there is a rule against that, I need to go see the Patient Advocate, which I do.  After waiting for well over an hour, I see the Jerk who wears this title, only to be told this is not his job to make personal calls for me I need to find a friend to do it or have my wife do it.  I patiently explain that my wife is in the PH and even if she could call, the 800 number would not work from there.  In short he tells me this is not his problem, does not fall under his job description go elsewhere, but he can't tell me where that might be!

 

So, I go to the Social Work department, thinking this ought to be something they can do.  After filling out forms and waiting for some time, I finally see a Social Worker who also tells me this is not her job and she cannot make the call for me.  How do you spell frustration?  She suggests I go to the Patient Advocate.  Does anyone detect a nonsensical circle here?  Thinking maybe I will get another PA, I go go back to that office wait in line yet again and luck out scoring a new PA, who tells me essentially the same thing as the first one, but adds that perhaps I would like to write a letter which he will forward to the administration for review.

 

Thoroughly disgusted with the VA at this point, I walk over to OHSU and go to the department who would do the test and explain the situation to the clerk on duty, who tells me she doesn't think they would allow her to make the call for me, so I ask for her supervisor who ultimately agrees they can make the call.  After a full days effort, the call is finally made and the Veterans Choice program informs the clerk making the call I will receive an authorization letter in ten to fourteen days.  About ten days later I receive an authorization in the mail to have plastic surgery performed at a specific location.  Plastic Surgery was not what I requested and not what I need, so when 14 days has elapsed I go back to OHSU see the same clerk who no longer has to speak to her supervisor before calling Veterans Choice. 

 

The Veterans Choice program puts her on hold for 26 minutes (she has a timer built into her phone) but at long last they speak to her and tell her nothing and I mean nothing has happened on my request.  Why?  Because the VA has not forwarded my medical record.  Wait a minute I tell the lady through the Clerk.  You are the VA, why can't you just look at the record.  Well, they can't or won't, the record must be sent to them, or so they say.  So back to the VA I go.

 

After the aerial tram ride and long walk (the department is at the downhill location,) I get to the appropriate VA department and inquire about my medical record not being transferred to the VC program.  Of course, the clerk knows nothing of this but suggests I should talk to the medical release department and sign a release.  I point out the record is going to another VA department, no release should be necessary and she agrees and begins making phone calls.  Thirty minutes later she informs me that the VA will not transfer my record to the VC program and thus the procedure will not be approved!  Huh?  Are you serious?  Yup, she is very serious and then tells me it's quitting time, good-bye.  

 

I swear if I'd had my MP5 in my hands at that moment I would have laid waste to the whole damn department, but I didn't, so I didn't.  Instead, I wrote my congresswoman who is to the left of Carl Marx, but I lucked out and got a sympathetic aid who agreed to help me.  In the end, after many emails back and forth they decided there was nothing they could do, this being the VA and all.  The VA won, I lost.  So, when you say the Veterans Choice program will help, don't be standing next to me when you say it.  The VC program is naught but a scam to take pressure off the VA in the eye of the public, that is what I conclude.

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ex231

 

 

The VC program is naught but a scam to take pressure off the VA in the eye of the public, that is what I conclude.

 

Yeah but it sounded good on paper  :sarcasm:

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cebubird

I just don't get it. Why are they like that? Seems to me that if anything they should be giving vets the benefit of the doubt instead of going the other way with it. Someone said you could get meds from them (maybe) for non sc issues but I don't even want to fool around with them for that. Seems easier just to reach in my pocket and pay, so that's what I do.

 

Now, I think I will have to 'fight' with them one more time 'cause they just will NOT even attempt to exercise a little common sense.

Supposed to go back by Aug for annual visit, so since we have to be up there for 2 days for wife's med at St Luke, tried to get appointment for then. No-they will make appt in Aug. Isaid, we're leaving late Aug and that is too much of a hassle, and I'll just wait til Sep when we're back home.

Get letter saying probably can't do that since it will take at least 3 months to get appt back there.WRONG More bs.

Call my clinic in Florida, and guy says no problem, call before you leave Philippines and we'll schedule you in Sep when you're back-with same doctor I had for years.

Now-are these folks up in Manila going to stress me out and hassle me by making/threatening me that I have to go in Aug or be penalized some way.

Stay tuned.

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