The Providence VA Medical Center has awarded a contract to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to provide basic medical care for veterans, one of the last steps in restoring on-Island health care access for Vineyard veterans.
The Providence VA said Tuesday that the kick-off day for the new contract will be Oct. 3, with staff traveling to the Island that day to meet with hospital staff and conduct a town hall meeting with veterans.
The prior contract between the VA and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital lapsed several years ago, requiring veterans — many of them elderly—to go off-Island for most medical care. The wait led to an outcry from Island veterans, and local politicians got involved in the fight to restore access.
The new contract “will enhance care to eligible veterans on the Island to include basic lab work and diagnostic imaging on the Island without the need for pre-approval,” according to a press release from the Providence VA.
“All of these services have been consolidated into one contract,” Providence VA Medical Center director Vincent Ng said in the press release. “More importantly, this contract includes provisions to ensure better continuity of care as well as assurances that our veterans on the Island are receiving safe, high quality care. It also includes criteria to ensure patient confidentiality.”
The press release added that veterans will still have to go to the Providence VA or the Boston Health Care System for “speciality care and services in most cases.”