Local News

Fayetteville VA hospital ER shifting to urgent care clinic

Posted September 18, 2014 11:41 a.m. EDT
Updated September 18, 2014 12:35 p.m. EDT

Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center

— The 24-hour emergency department at Fayetteville's VA Medical Center will be converted Friday into a 12-hour urgent care clinic until the veterans hospital can resolve its problem with not having enough doctors.

The clinic will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with patients being triaged and given appropriate care and provide ancillary services, such as lab tests and X-rays, being provided to those in need of immediate attention, the hospital said in a statement Thursday.

Emergency cases from ambulances, however, will be redirected to other hospitals.

It's unclear when normal emergency operations might resume. Calls to the Fayetteville VA Medical Center weren't immediately returned.

Patients have complained about long waits because of staffing shortages that hospital spokesman Jeffery Melvin, last week, attributed to problems with its emergency room provider.

The hospital, he said, didn't renew the contract and, beginning Oct. 1, will be working with a new provider to get the ER fully staffed again.

The VA will be reaching out to veterans about the change. Depending on their eligibility, coverage for care at other hospitals might be covered. Those with questions can call 800-771-6106, extension 7002, or 800-936-7540.

"The Fayetteville VAMC has traditionally relied on local community hospitals as health partners and will continue to collaborate closely with these hospitals to assure that our patients receive seamless care when we are not able to serve them at our facility," Medical Center Director Elizabeth Goolsby said in a statement Thursday.

“Ensuring high quality care is always at the forefront of facility decisions and this change will ensure that veterans continue to receive the high quality care they have earned and deserve," she added.