The Associated Press (AP) released a story on March 14, 2022 reporting that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is recommending a new health system in Rapid City.
The VA has released its set of recommendations for the future of veteran care in the U.S., following years of research and analysis.
For South Dakota, the Asset and Infrastructure Review report recommends building a new VA health system in Rapid City, while closing the Wagner clinic and the the Fort Meade hospital.
The report released Monday was issued as part of the 2018 Mission Act, which required an assessment of the current and future health care needs of U.S. veterans.
The VA predicts that enrollment for veterans across South Dakota will decrease in the next 10 years.
Four recommendations were made for the future of the VA hospital in Sioux Falls, including moving inpatient and surgical services to partner health care providers and changing the emergency department into an urgent care facility, the Argus Leader reported.
The Sioux Falls Community Living Center however would have its beds increased by 30 to meet veteran demand. Wagner clinic would be fully shut down and services would be transitioned to either Yankton or Mitchell or to the Indian Health Services clinic, according to the report.
The VA will be holding listening sessions across the nation until next January. The recommendations would go to President Joe Biden no later than Jan. 31, 2023 and he then has 45 days to issue his approval or disapproval.