|WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) sent a letter to Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki and the VA St. Louis Health Care System this week to express their concern and demand answers “in response to serious allegations that have been made regarding the availability of mental health services within the VA St. Louis Health Care System.”
“The allegations suggest that VA St. Louis mental health providers are making inefficient use of their time, seeing patients for only a fraction of the workday, and in the process creating delays in the provision of mental health services for veterans in need. If true, these claims would demonstrate an unacceptable lack of leadership at the VA in St. Louis that is putting the health and safety of veterans at risk,” the Senators wrote. “The care, well-being and support of our nation’s veterans are of the utmost importance to us. It is our responsibility to provide the oversight necessary to ensure our veterans receive the quality medical care they have earned.”
The Missouri Senators requested specific information on the availability of mental health treatment in the VA St. Louis Health Care System, including the number of providers, the number of patients seen per day, average wait times, standards for providing timely access to services, and specific steps to shorten wait times.