Following a packed town hall session in Manteca on Sept. 15, Representative Josh Harder (CA-9) pressed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the dire shortage of primary care physicians at the Stockton VA Clinic and shared feedback he heard directly from San Joaquin County veterans about the nearly 90-day wait times to see a doctor. Harder hosted the town hall on Friday at the Manteca VFW to hear from veterans and talk about the issues they’re having accessing the health care they need and have earned. The town hall was widely attended and veterans had the opportunity to sign petitions that Rep. Harder is sending directly to the VA Secretary.
“Our veterans fought for our freedom, they shouldn’t also have to fight for their health care. Waiting three months to see a doctor is unacceptable,” said Rep. Harder. “At my town hall, I heard countless veterans’ stories about struggling to get the care they need. It was heartbreaking. The VA clinicians and staff at the Stockton Clinic are doing everything they can with the resources they have, but the Department of Veterans Affairs absolutely needs to do more. Our veterans deserve better.”
For months, Harder has been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to find a solution to the lack of doctors at the Stockton Veterans Clinic. He passed an amendment earlier this year requiring the VA to come up with a plan to address doctor shortages at VA clinics across the country. The clinic in Stockton is supposed to have eight full-time primary care physicians on staff, but right now they only have four that are seeing and treating patients.