Department of Veterans Affairs recommends changes to local VA medical centers in new report

The recommendations include closing the VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed a restructuring plan that includes major changes to VA medical centers in our area.

The Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission Report, released on Monday, includes closing the VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

"The Coatesville VAMC was built in 1930 and has significant facilities maintenance issues. The infrastructure does not meet current design standards for modern health care, provides limited flexibility, and has significant architectural and engineering challenges. The physical layout of the buildings creates inefficiencies that are impacting clinical, administrative, and facility support services," the report said.

The VA medical center in University City would also be closed if the department can develop a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania for care.

If a partnership can't be reached, the VA would build a new medical center in the Philadelphia area.

"Establishing a strategic collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VAMC, while maintaining capacity to provide all Philadelphia VAMC's current services, will strengthen care quality and the academic and research missions," the report said.

The department also proposed modernizing the medical center in Wilmington, Delaware and developing new medical centers in Camden, New Jersey and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

"Developing two new VAMCs in the Camden, New Jersey, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, areas with CLC, RRTP, primary care, outpatient mental health, and outpatient specialty care services will allow the Philadelphia VAMC to free up specialty care space in the currently compressed downtown facility for more complex cases," the report said.

The proposals still need approval from Congress and an independent commission of veterans advocates.

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