Veterans Affairs health centers and clinics in the North Country will remain open despite the general shutdown of federal facilities while Congress figures out what to do about the budget.
A statement from the VA says, “Regarding health care: It’s important to know that the Veterans Health Administration, the branch of VA that operates VA medical centers, including outpatient clinics, has advance appropriations for fiscal year 2014. This means that our hospitals, clinics and other health services will remain open."
In the North Country, those facilities are the Massena VA Outpatient Clinic at Massena Memorial Hospital, a facility in Saranac Lake, the Watertown Vet Center and the Watertown VA Outpatient Clinic, and the Plattsburgh VA Outpatient Clinic.
But the VA's plan is not open-ended.
“In the event of a prolonged shutdown, VA will continue to review and update its plan in conjunction with the applicable legal requirements and circumstances," the VA said.
But for now, all VA medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational, including inpatient care, outpatient care, prescriptions, surgeries, dental treatment, extended care, mental health care, nursing home care,and special health care services for women veterans.
More information is available, and will be updated, at www.va.gov.
The department has prepared a Veterans Field Guide to Government Shutdown, available at http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Field_Guide_20130927.pdf