VA clinics on STT and STX
Has anyone had any experiences with the Veteran's Admin clinics on STT or STX. We are considering a move to the VI, but my partner receives his primary health care, and prescriptions, through the VA.
Any insight would be great.
I use the VA Clinic on STX. Both STX and STT come under the VA Medical Center in PR. You can get your primary care and drugs from the clinic. They a very good in STX, never used STT but I'm sure they are just as good.
If you need medical treatment that the clinic can't offer do they tell you that you have to travel to PR to the VA hospital or will the refer you to the local VI hospital?
I believe you have to go to PR for services they don't offer here.
It depends on what your percentage you are rated at, some conditions they can use outside medical facilities, emergency care is always available for 100% rated Vets. If it is a service connected condition the VA will Fly you to the nearest VA Hospital that can handle your condition, Texas,PR. Miami!
He's 100% service connected.
We're actually going through an ER claim now (non-VA hospital) and there is so much red tape to get everything paid... ended up being about $55k for a 4/5 day stay.
I didn't know that they would actually fly you out for service connected treatment if the clinic can't offer. But if worse comes to worse there is always the ER in the VI? This would be similar to our ER experience above, because when he was stable they transported him to the VA hospital... that was an ambulance ride though, and not a medi-flight.
Anyone else have any other personal experiences with the clinic? Like how long does it take for a prescription refill if they don't have it in clinic? etc...
Prescription Refill is the same as the mainland, 7 to 10 days from your last prescribed bottle, you call it in and they mail it to you for up to 6 months, after that the VA Doctor has to renew your medication. No big deal!
I have used the VA system in Boston, Providence,PR and the Virgin Islands.
My background is I was a former state commander for veteran organization. Moreover, have been on the local and national veteran boards working with the VA . And leaving for PR VA tomorrow for followup visit.
Like any VA system, the VA system is strapped for funds and understaffed. You will have good and bad experiences at all---and I had both here. However, more good and outstanding due to the dedication of the staff at the VA in PR and ST Croix.
The VA has an outpatient service here. Any service they cant provide you go to PR or they outsource. If you are 30 %, the ticket is purchased by the VA and no $$$$$ for you for traveling If you are not 30% and don't meet the means test for travel reimbursement, your travel is covered by a program by the VI government for veterans(easy paperwork to fill out).IE when you return from PR you fill out the paperwork with the local VA, and the VI government reimburses the veteran for flight to PR
When you arrive in PR, the VA program has a shuttle from the airport to the VA(no charge or tipping allow). Usually, they are waiting for you. I always call the shuttle service before leaving ST Croix and provide details of my flight. Only once, did I wait more than five minutes at the airport.
I had fallen from a fence months ago and the VA referred me to the local hospital. I never received a bill as the VA handle everything. Additionally, I had to fly to PR for major surgery---again almost nothing except for two prescriptions, about $18 dollars. The team that did the surgery was a blend of young and old doctors.
I owe my ability to walk again today to the VA system-----and the doctors in PR.
Hope this helps, and remember the VA is the system for veterans. When you have a bad experience, be part of the solution by fighting to make it better---write you local congressman , VA director , etc.....However, don't forget to recognize all the good experiences you will encounter with the VA system.
You wont find many VA workers not 110% dedicated to their job, and a large percentage are veterans themselves.
Thanks Inn, that is very helpful. Seems like the Caribbean VA system works much more efficiently than the Chicago system. My spouse actually worked for the VA system but was discriminated against because if his disabilities he obtained by servicing this country... Its ridiculous here, that's why we're planning our move.
Just returned today from VA clinic in PR.
700-845 Fly from STX to (call VA shuttle to let them know I was arriving around 900AM in PR)
850AM VA shuttle service in PR at airport in 5 minutes. after I arrive.
At VA for 900AM.
Check in 905AM for 1000AM appointment.
910 told to go to XRAYS
930 back waiting appointment
945 Appointment for followup----1005 Complete
1000-1200 Shop at Canteen and have lunch at VA.
1205 outside for shuttle back to airport
1215 Shuttle arrives and takes me to airport.
Allot of details to emphasis a point, today's experience with the VA system excellent
I have to take issue with the idea that the VA is for veterans. As I see it, it's only for military retirees and those with service-connected disabilities. I am a VietNam era vet (over six years active service) and have been refused service by VA medical facilities because I "don't qualify." Personally, I'm hard pressed to see why the VA is providing service to someone who fell off a fence. That doesn't seem service-related to me.
Inn, thanks for putting our mind at ease. I read this to my partner and he was floored that the caribbean VA system works so well. We've had to seal with the nightmare of the Chicago VA system for over 10 years and it is so disorganized. They also do NOT put veterans first there. Which is sad because that is what they are there for.
Jefgar, I understand your frustration. That's the government for ya. I also feel that we are the youngest people there (we're in our 30s). My Partner was injured overseas while I'll duty and he's been struggling ever since for what our government "did" to him.
This issue was a major concern with is relocating to the VI, but now we are both at ease. Thank you. Now just to get our house sold!
Jedgar, I am 22 year retiree, two tours in Iraq, Bronze Star recipient---our nations third highest award, and over 20 other awards for service to my country, may help you understand why I am eligible.
Moreover, as a veteran diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome---its unknown what causes my body to start twitching and having spasms, IE causing my fall from the fence. And like thousands of my comrades who served with me, I was exposed to many chemicals during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
Moro over, confirmed in a letter sent from the Department of Defense, I was exposed to nerve gas sarin, the same day I was medically treated for unknown symptoms---and hiddened and never told to me until years later when I found a document which read I probably suffer red a stroke, although later test no signs of a stroke appeared.
You are a VETERAN yourself if you received an honorable discharge, and should revisit the VA and apply, as the rules have changed over the years. Feel free to private message me if you have any questions .
And THANK YOU for your service to our country.