DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Doctors who work for the VA don’t have to be licensed in the state where they are practicing medicine. So a doctor at the Dayton VA Medical Center doesn’t have to go through the process of getting an Ohio license which means he or she could move around more and leave someone like Marvin Bentley without a consistent primary care physician.
Bentley is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He told 2 NEWS Investigates, “At one point I was getting severe headaches due to the one spot in my upper back. The second doctor I saw down there cause I had multiple doctors, one one time, one another time, one another time.”
Bentley said the Dayton VA Medical Center gave him a list of diagnosis which included gallstones and a cyst on his left kidney, but he says he never received treatment.
“They did a lot of diagnosis with no treatments,” he said.
Bentley who had served in the U.S. Air Force in the eighties said he turned to VA care only after he lost his job and his health insurance. He said he waited five months for his first appointment after being accepted into the system in 2011. He said during the course of a year he had multiple doctors.
Bentley sought answers through his congressman’s office, Jim Jordan’s office. When the answers arrived the VA acknowledged in Bentley’s case there was a “lack of continuity of care.”
VA doctors don’t have to be licensed in any particular state so they are more free to move around. Ohio Revised Code 4731.36 makes an exception for “an employee of the veterans administration of the United States.”
2 NEWS Investigates requested information from the regional public information office of the Department of Veterans Affairs about the turnover among doctors at the Dayton VA Medical Center, but has yet to receive any numbers.