Patients Defend Muskogee Veterans Medical Center

Wednesday, March 14th 2007, 6:01 pm

By: News On 6

Tuesday, the News On 6 covered a story about the Muskogee Veterans Medical Center and accusations of poor health care provided at the facilty. Wednesday, the News On 6’s voicemail and e-mail boxes were overflowing with messages from viewers and veterans about the hospital. The News On 6 wants you to know there are two sides to this story. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren toured the facility and reports one veteran says he has always had great care at the Muskogee VA Medical Center.

"The care is just not there," said Margaret Wilson.

Tuesday, we brought you Margaret Wilson's story. She came to the News On 6 because she blames the Muskogee VA for a severe downturn in her husband, George's, health. She told us that facility is understaffed and that they discharged him before he was well enough to go home.

"But I think people need to be aware of what's going on there and maybe it will help somebody else," said Wilson.

But VA Medical Center Associate Director Rudy Klopfer paints a much different picture. He says they provide better care here than at some private facilities.

"The VA, on a number of measurements, are far and above better than what the private industry is, and so yeah, I think we're providing the best care here to our veterans and they wouldn't get any better care otherwise," said Klopfer.

Vietnam-era veteran Bobby Ford is going on his fifth stay at the Muskogee VA. He says it’s always been a great hospital for him.

"And the doctors have always, if I needed something, they sat down and talked to me and I've been helped real well with it," said Ford.

He recognizes that he doesn't know about other people's experiences. But as far as he's concerned there is nothing to complain about.

"I mean they take care of a lot of people and I don't think they ought to complain," he said.

According to several of the responses the News On 6 has received, others agree.

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