Trump initiated the VA hotline, but is it really making a difference?
Anyone having issues with the VA or seeking assistance was told that they would be able to call a hotline to get assistance. This hotline is open 14 hours a day and callers will get to speak to an actual person, not a machine.
Trump has made a lot of changes in the VA by dismissing employees and hiring new ones, but amidst all of the changes, the veterans were supposed to be getting their issues addressed via the new hotline.
The thing is, when people call in for assistance, the person who answers the phone can’t really do anything to address the problem. The only thing they can do is record the problem and send if off to another team that would address it in about 60 days.
The employees are not allowed to pull up medical records, access benefits, or contact health providers. On top of this, some of these issues need to be addressed immediately, not in 60 days.
This is not the only hotline and not the first. The VA has almost 20 hotline numbers listed across their platforms and they are run by various hospitals and organizations.
Does Reporting Problems Help?
The purpose of the hotline is to report problems. Yes, this helps to bring awareness to issues going on within the organization, but it does not always mean that these problems will be remedied. Trump’s idea for the hotline allots $7.4 million in the annual budget, but will it actually have an impact?
The call center representatives are trained to stay on the phone with callers until they hang up, or if they use profanity. They spend hours listening to veterans tell stories of being in crisis, but are unable to actually step in and find a solution.
According to the VA, the hotline has been able to resolve 89% of the cases and there are many people who are happy with the results they have gotten. Sometimes they even call the hotline back to thank them.
While there are people who the hotline has helped, there are others who complain that the hotline has not been able to help them. They are frustrated that it is a part of the VA itself, and not connected to the White House as Trump had promised.
What do you think?
What do you think, is the hotline an integral part of veteran care? Is it a place where veterans can call to voice their frustrations? Or is the hotline only the appearance of trying to help? Let us know what you think below: