WNY Lawmakers Urge Feds to Abandon Plans to Close Warsaw VA Clinic

February 24, 2012 Updated Feb 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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WNY Lawmakers Urge Feds to Abandon Plans to Close Warsaw VA Clinic

February 24, 2012 Updated Feb 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM EDT

(WKBW release) New York Senators Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul on Friday urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider plans to shutter the VA Warsaw Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Wyoming County.

According to a news release:

The lawmakers’ letter comes following the VA’s announcement that they plan to close the facility and consolidate services with the facility in Batavia, forcing local veterans who rely on the clinic to drive much further for basic healthcare. Citing the negative effect on veterans’ care and the minimal cost savings the closure would achieve, the lawmakers sent a personal letter to VA Secretary General Shinseki, urging him to abandon plans to close the clinic.
 
“Veterans from Alleghany to Livingston and Wyoming Counties rely on the Warsaw clinic for essential health care,” Schumer said. “Closing this clinic would place a hardship on brave men and women who have served their country with honor and distinction, and is no way to repay them for their service. I strongly urge the VA to keep this clinic open rather than forcing our vets to drive miles more for basic care.”
 
“Our veterans answer a call higher than any other,” said Senator Gillibrand. “They fight for our nation, and we need to fight for all the resources they deserve, including a VA worthy of their service. Western New York's veterans rely on this clinic, and we can't afford to lose it. It needs to stay open and available.”
 
“At a time when I am working to provide greater access to primary care for veterans living in rural communities, I am concerned that the VA has decided to close a clinic for those veterans," said Congresswoman Hochul, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee.  "I would ask for more transparency in this decision, especially the cost savings attached to this closing, and any health considerations given to forcing these veterans to travel over twenty miles for primary care."