U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) has informed her that it intends to soon fill the vacant full-time doctor position at the VA's Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Calais.
The target start date for the new doctor is December 30, 2012.
In May, Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote to the Director of the VA New England Healthcare System to express her concern with the long delay in getting a new doctor. "The veterans treated at CBOC-Calais have significant medical needs and deserve the consistent medical care that comes with seeing the same provider on a regular basis," wrote Senator Collins.
Following a VA Inspector General report released in August that echoed the need to hire a full-time physician at the clinic, Senator Collins again urged the VA to fill the post, "the report heightens my concern that extended gaps and inconsistent provider coverage undermines optimal care and is of great concern for the veterans of Eastern Maine and the community. I strongly urge the VA to take the necessary steps to ensure that this critical health care position is filled quickly."
"I am pleased to see that the VA intends to take the steps necessary to fill this long vacant position and help ensure that the area's veterans have a doctor who can provide for the health care support upon which they rely," said Senator Collins tonight upon learning that the VA intends to fill the position by the end of the year.