24-Hour emergency care around the corner for vets

24-Hour emergency care around the corner for vets

It has been four years since the Spokane VA Medical Center has offered 24-hour emergency care. But that will likely change later this year.

For years – local veterans haven’t exactly had peace of mind concerning their health.

“A lot of people were suffering and dying before they could get treated at the VA,” explained Ted Pulver, a Vietnam vet.

If the unthinkable happens- their Medical Center can only treat them during a ten hour daily window.

“You’re only allowed to have a heart attack between 8 o’clock in the morning and 6 o’clock at night. If you have one after that, what do you do? Put it off until the next morning,” complained Spokane native and Vietnam vet Richard Gonzolez.

Since 2014, the hospital’s Emergency Center has been open just 10 hours a day due to a physician shortage. Much to the relief of vets like Gonzolez… the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center has a plan in place to support a 24 hour urgent care center as early as this summer. Staffing qualified personnel, according to one source, appears to be the biggest challenge.

This comes 6 weeks after Dr. Robert Fisher was officially named Medical Center Director – a man highly regarded by the veteran community for listening to their concerns

“I believe that Dr Fisher is going to do his utmost best to get it open,” declared Gonzolez. “I feel that because we’ve had several great conversations with him and we even had an open house out at Valley Veteran’s center.”

There’s no set timetable on when the Medical Center will have round-the-clock coverage, but officials hope to launch the service this summer.