President Trump touted a new program to increase veterans’ electronic access to medical care as part of a broader tele-health push at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The initiative connects veterans with health providers via mobile phones or computers, and is intended to improve medical care especially for those needing mental health and suicide prevention services, Trump said.
“It will make a tremendous difference for the veterans in rural locations in particular,” Trump said in an event at the White House with VA Secretary David Shulkin.
The application allows veterans to schedule appointments via their smart phones.
Shulkin also previewed a regulation allowing VA providers to provide tele-health services to veterans anywhere in the country.
“What we’re announcing today is a big deal for veterans,” said Shulkin. Veterans can find the digital application at the VA app store, he said.
Shulkin, who previously ran large hospitals in New Jersey and New York, is a practicing physician and still sees patients at the VA in Manhattan. He also sees them virtually via such tele-health appointments, something he has said he put “on steroids” during his tenure so more veterans could be seen.
The VA says more than 700,000 veterans made roughly 2 million tele-health appointments last year.