Topeka VA hospital ready and waiting on Washington to re-open ER

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Colmery-O’Neil Medical Center in Topeka is ready to re-open their emergency room any day. The hold-up? The veteran’s administration has not yet given the go ahead.

The emergency room was temporarily shut down and veterans re-routed to other hospitals because of a doctor shortage. That has since been resolved with the hiring of new doctors and other medical personnel. Spokesman Jim Gleisberg says he doesn’t know how soon the V.A.’s approval to re-open the E.R. will come.

Friday Kansas First News asked Senator Jerry Moran’s office why there’s a delay. The following is an emailed statement from the Senator’s spokeswoman Garrette Silverman.

“The office of the inspector general says that they have visited the Topeka VA regarding the staff shortage, but right now we know that the emergency room is still sending patients elsewhere. Sen. Moran hopes the ER will reopen soon and would appreciate a status update. The Senator has asked the VA time and again about their failure to address the tremendous shortage of VA physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It is causing a new VA backlog of national heroes who are not receiving the health care they need. Sen. Moran continues to work to make certain the VA provides answers and takes action.”

In a separate email, the Senator’s spokeswoman says his office is asking the V.A. Headquarters why they are being held up.

For now, veterans can continue to use the hospital’s 24-7 urgent care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries.

Visit the Colmery-O’neil website here: http://www.topeka.va.gov

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