While it’s well known that Veterans Affairs medical facilities struggle to provide timely care, US Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie made a brief visit to the island and met with some of the veterans in our community to discuss some of the challenges associated with receiving care on the island.
Secretary Wilkie met with veterans in a closed session at Adelup to discuss improving the accessibility to and extension of healthcare services to the veteran community.
He mentioned that the department recently received a significant expansion in its budget, which would enable the establishment of urgent care programs on the island and transferring some decision-making from Hawaii to Guam.
According to Lieutenant Governor Joshua Tenorio on NewsTalk K57, he is optimistic about what Secretary Wilkie will help contribute to the veterans in the Marianas.
“His moral calling is to make sure that services and attention are available during the time he is in the office of veterans affairs. He explicitly talked about stepping up services for and personnel in this region,” Tenorio said.
According to a release, Secretary Wilkie is now in Saipan to meet with CNMI leadership and visit veterans facilities to discuss accessibility issues regarding healthcare and transportation, as well as a VA clinic for the commonwealth.