Some veterans may go to 'MinuteClinics' for minor illnesses

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Democrats have criticized Republican politicians for wanting to privatize veterans' care.

The program mirrors an initiative started in 2016 in Palo Alto, California, that also allows veterans to receive referrals to CVS retail clinic locations.

Veterans Administration, the VA and CVS have partnered for a test program that will have the pharmacy chain's MinuteClinic urgent care centers treating some veterans for minor injuries and ailments.

According to the VA, the average wait time for a new patient to see a primary care doctor in Sioux Falls is 16 days.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new website last week that allows patients to look at wait times and their quality of care.

"Veterans must have access to information that is clear and understandable to make informed decisions about their health care", said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin. Their health records will be shared electronically with the clinic. Veterans in Phoenix and surrounding communities will not have to wait for long for the services.

Veterans in Phoenix will benefit from the same data exchange capabilities, and may have a great deal to gain from alternative care choices in the region. Phoenix VA Health Care System nurses will refer veterans to MinuteClinic for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries through the Veterans Choice Program when appropriate. "This program is evidence of a new era of transparency and accountability at the VA under Secretary Shulkin's leadership, and validates his commitment to finally reforming how things are done across the VA to ensure our nation's veterans receive the highest quality of care".

McCain argues that veterans should be allowed to visit community health centers for timely attendance.

And Tobias Barker, the chief medical officer of CVS MinuteClinic, told the AP he hopes the new program can be one of several solutions to providing medical care to America's veterans.