Tester Pushes for Approval of Missoula VA Clinic Lease
(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today formally requested that Senate Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Committee leadership bring up legislation to approve a pending lease for the VA’s Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Missoula.
Missoula veterans have been waiting far too long for a facility that will provide the additional parking, clinical space, and health care services needed to meet local demand, but Congress hasn’t approved the lease for the building. In a letter to the VA Committee Chairman and Ranking Member, Tester said the delay is hampering veterans’ access to timely care.
“This expanded facility will better honor our commitment to Missoula veterans,” said Tester, Montana’s only member of the Veterans Affairs Committee. “Veterans shouldn’t have to wait on Congress just so they can see a doctor.”
Tester toured the Missoula CBOC last April with VA Secretary Bob McDonald and saw that the space was operating over capacity. Just weeks after the tour, Tester announced that the VA would be expanding the clinic to meet the growing needs of veterans.
This temporary expansion will increase capacity at the VA by 24 percent allowing the VA to see more patients, provide more privacy to veterans seeking care, and better ensure doctors, nurses and medical personnel have the space they need to effectively do their jobs. The expanded facility could also mean that there will be additional services provided in Missoula, rather than forcing veterans to go to Helena for some specialty treatments.
CBOCs provide veterans with access to basic outpatient services including wellness visits, physical therapy, and eye-care.
Tester’s letter to Chairman Isakson and Ranking Member Blumenthal is online HERE.