For the publisher:

Re "Privatize care for veterinarians, "By Anuradha Bhagwati (Op-Ed, February 4):

Ms. Bhagwati's problems are unfortunate, but it is not surprising that casual patients in this vast system are experiencing personally unsatisfactory medical experiences.

The vast majority of patients find their care at V.A. facilities more than satisfactory. An eligible individual who applies for a VA for the first time outpatient appointment must receive one within 30 days and is usually seen earlier if mental health issues are involved.

The V.A. computerized record keeping system is one of the best in the country and the medical records of remote institutions are immediately available. Our costs are lower (doctors' salaries, medications and medical supplies purchased in large quantities, expensive and useless tests and avoidable procedures), and our results (complications and mortality for certain conditions and procedures, length of stay in the hospital) ) equal to or greater than those of other countries. in the USA.

The fees charged to patients, if any, are predefined, minimal and determined by the ability to pay.

The V.A. is a leader in American medical care. His problems must be addressed and corrected. It should not be weakened or destroyed by privatization.

Samuel L. Rosenthal
Larchmont, N.Y.
The writer is an internist at the Port of New York V.A. Medical Center.

For the publisher:

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner and service member, and as a psychiatrist within the system, we are concerned that the view of this article will deter veterans from receiving VA treatment.

We are committed to providing veterans with trauma-informed care, regardless of race, gender, or gender identity.

Ongoing initiatives support growing women and L.G.B.T.Q. population of veterans. Our Women's Clinic, access to female providers in various sub-specialties and advances in the identification and treatment of military sexual trauma.

In our own practice and experience, we do not see this as compatible with a "hypermasculine military culture". It would be an injustice if the opinion presented in this article dissuaded from treating other women who were considering V.A. current or future services.

Amy Roberts
Shuba Rodrigues
West Haven, Connecticut

For the publisher:

Re "VIRGINIA. A rule would expand access to private health care for some veterans"(January 31st press article):

The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun reallocating huge resources, measured in billions, to publicly provided medical and surgical care – and therefore to the accountability of the public.

Precisely the wrong direction!

What is the big problem in hospitals and clinics run by the public? Cynically, underfund a great public service and publish only its failures, while ignoring its fundamental and irrefutable successes.

The VA should not be demolished, but defended and developed – based on history, principles and especially its outstanding health outcomes. Instead of privatization, we should demand the expansion of the V.A.

We desperately need a national health program. We should see in the V.A. system a foundation for a national health service, capable of providing excellent and responsible care to all in the United States.

Andrew D. Coates
Delmar, N.Y.
The author, an assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at Albany Medical College, has been president of Doctors for a national health program.

For the publisher:

The Trump administration has embarked on partial privatization of V.A. health care. Other options still available for the VA include the increase in VA staffing of physicians and health staff, expanded VA clinic hours, including evenings and weekends, and the addition of clinics. reception in VA health institutions.

Such changes would prove more effective and less costly, and would provide greater continuity and quality of care than transferring veterans to private sellers.

The Trump administration has not shown the utmost candor by denying its intention to privatize the entire V.A. health system, a goal promoted by Koch billionaires.

Congress should now intervene with legislation aimed at preserving and protecting V.A. standards of health and accessibility, and canceling plans for private outdoor care.

Robert L. Nolan
Lafayette, California
The writer, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco, is a former chief of staff at the V.A. Hospital in Martinez, California.