The emergency room at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka has been closed for more than 500 days. But as Jim McLean of the KHI News Service reports, that changes today (TUE).
The Emergency Room at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka closed in January 2014 after several doctors left at virtually the same time. The VA hired Dr. Fatima Khan to run the emergency department in early April. Since then, she’s been working to bring it into compliance with VA rules and regulations. Meanwhile, members of the Kansas congressional delegation grew impatient, particularly Republican Senator Jerry Moran. He says the ER could have been back online sooner if VA officials hadn’t used some of the money appropriated to recruit staff to instead cover cost overruns at hospital construction projects. “What causes the hair on the back of my neck to go up is, ‘how about using the money to get the people recruited and retained at the hospitals and clinics that we already have,” Moran says. Even though the ER is re-opening, it is still isn’t equipped to provide emergency cardiac services. That means for the time being, veterans who suffer heart attacks and strokes will have to be taken to other hospitals. I'm Jim McLean.