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VA Task Force: N.H. Does Not Need Full-Service Veterans Hospital

Peter Biello/NHPR

A task force looking at the future of VA healthcare for New Hampshire veterans has issued a draft report that says the Manchester VA Medical Center does not need to be a full-service hospital.


A full-service hospital has been a priority for many advocates, including nearly a dozen whistleblowers who came forward last summer with allegations of mismanagement that resulted in patient harm. 


The New Hampshire congressional delegation has long endorsed the idea of a full-service VA hospital in the Granite State.


But the task force says by the time a full-service hospital was constructed, demand would not be large enough to justify the investment. 


Instead, the task force is suggesting continuing partnerships with private hospitals, increasing the use of telemedecine, and expanding some services at the Manchester VA itself. The task force is also suggesting combining two community-based outpatient clinics in Portsmouth and Somersworth into one larger facility in Dover. 


The task force is offering suggestions to a larger committee called the Special Medical Advisory Group, which will make final recommendations to senior VA leadership.


The task force meets again in mid-March.


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