This legislative initiative was the product of many years of discussion, negotiations and education and came only after numerous attempts by the chiropractic profession and the Congress to persuade the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to develop and implement a meaningful chiropractic program on their own. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration and action. Some of the highlights of the bill include:
- The establishment of on-going, regular chiropractic care as a routine benefit at all DVA facilities.
- The establishment of a chiropractic oversight committee to assist in the rapid implementation of full chiropractic availability within the DVA.
- A mandatory schedule for deploying in-facility doctors of chiropractic at all DVA medical centres, adding on-site practitioners at 30 sites per year until all locations have in-facility coverage. The first 30 sites are to be identified within sixty days of final passage of the bill.
- The securing of “primary care provider status” for DCs so that all eligible veterans can have direct access to chiropractic care without the need for a referral from a medical doctor.
- The appointment of a senior doctor of chiropractic to serve as a Director of Chiropractic Services within the DVA. This key individual would be directly responsible to the Secretary for Veterans Affairs and thus able to by-pass a historically hostile and obstructionist medical bureaucracy.
- The establishment of an effective program of training and education to inform and orient other providers and beneficiaries as to the important role and availability of chiropractic services within the DVA.