This is in response to letters written by Deborah Phair (“VA personnel treat patients with respect,” July 30) and Patrick Eisenhart (“VA health care second to none,” Aug. 5) dealing with respect and quality of care at the VA.

I will say that medical care at the VA Togus has been excellent, except in the area of pain management, which is poor.

I was forced off taking a pain medication in mid 2017. My doctor advised me that is was on orders from her boss. Other veterans also were taken off pain medications as well.

The VA informed me that I could request a review after six months, however, I had to do the following: have MRIs. X-rays, and chiropractor and pain doctors’ appointments. I did so. All medical records were reviewed, and it was recommended I be put back on my medication. But the pain doctor denied me again, giving no reason.

The real problem is at the top medical director and the unjust policies. The doctor are afraid to write prescriptions for pain medications in fear of losing their license. This is both no respect and inadequate health care.

My pain level is eight to 10 on a daily basis.

Ernie Lake


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