The Issues Regarding Access Healthcare For Rural Veterans

4535 Words Aug 15th, 2015 19 Pages
The Issues Regarding Access to Healthcare for Rural Veterans in Montana
Introduction
One of the biggest problems of the current VA administration is access to health care for veterans in rural areas. According to the office of rural health as of 2014 there were 22 million veterans across the nation, 5.3 million of them live in rural areas, and 57% of these rural veterans are enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system (ORH).
Over 20 percent of military service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of PTSD or depression but only a bit more than 50% of them have sought treatment. One reason for this is due to the fact that many of these veterans reside in rural areas where it is difficult for them to obtain access to care due to limited resources and the need to travel large distances for care (Helseth).
In this paper I will focus on the rural veterans of Montana, a state with the second largest number of rural veterans per capita in the United States.
Overview of the VHA The VHA is a government ran medical provider intended to provide healthcare to veterans. The VHA hires their own doctors and nurses and has its own network of hospitals and care facilities. They provide medical, surgical and rehabilitative care to approximately 6 million of the 22 million eligible veterans within 152 hospitals, 800 community-based outpatient clinics, and 126 nursing homes, staffed by doctors and…
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