Business as usual at VA Medical Center in Birmingham

Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The phone has been ringing off the hook at the Veteran's Medical Center in Birmingham. Many veterans are questioning if their healthcare benefits will be affected by the government shutdown.

Tuesday, it was business as usual. VA Medical Center officials said there was no need to worry. All appointments will be kept, clinics will continue to operate and other healthcare needs will continue.

"The veterans out there don't need to be concerned about their health. We are going to be there 24-7. All of our clinics will go on as normally scheduled. This staff is very excited to serve those who served us," Jeff Hester, spokesman for the VA Medical Center, said.

The services will include dental care, mental health care, nursing homes and specialty care. Hester said the Veteran Affairs Department received a two year funding appropriation to continue all operations through 2014.

However, Hester said there will be concerns about their budget when it is up for consideration after next year.

Hester said they see around 62,000 veterans annually from the northern Alabama region. The VAMC also has about 750,000 visits each year.

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