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VA Hospital Changes Still Pending

A controversial plan to cut emergency room services from the VA Hospital in Salisbury is still on hold, but a timeline for the changes is unclear. The Veterans Administration first announced its plans to cut emergency and intensive care services from the hospital back in September. The idea was to have veterans receive emergency care at private hospitals closer to home. But the outcry from patients and employees was immediate, and the VA Secretary quickly put the changes on hold. A new review of the proposal was due to the Secretary last Saturday, but the VA will not say when he will make a final decision. Nor will the VA say whether anyone from outside the administration was asked to submit comments for the review. 12th District Congressman Mel Watt was among those who urged them to reconsider. "I was appreciative that they decided to go back and reevaluate it and hopefully take into account some of the comments that we had made, even though they didn't formally solicit our input into the evaluation," says Watt. He hopes the VA will seek additional feedback from community leaders and veterans before announcing a final decision. A statement from the VA suggests that may happen.