The Fort Howard Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic will be open Monday, and for the foreseeable future, if the congressional budget accord isn’t reached Friday and the federal government shuts down.
“We will continue to provide veterans’ services,” said Kenya Griffin, a spokeswoman for the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, which oversees outpatient clinics at Fort Howard, Loch Raven, Glen Burnie, Cambridge and Pocomoke City, as well as in-patient medical centers in Baltimore, Perry Point and Loch Raven. “All services that we normally provide will be available in the event of a shut down.”
Griffin added that regular shuttle and other transportation services will also continue without interruption. No timeline has been given, Griffin said, regarding how long Veterans Affairs services will continue on its regular schedule, in case of a lengthy federal government shutdown.
All the employees at the outpatient clinics and inpatient facilities are federal employees, Griffin said.
“Sure, I’ve been worried about the government shutting down,” said Walter Malinowski, 84, a World War II veteran at Fort Howard's outpatient clinic Friday. “I’ve been following it in the news. I come here about every three months to get my pills.”
Health care services at Fort Howard include arthritis, dermatology, medication management, mental health, podiatry, post-traumatic stress, primary care, pulmonary, social work and women’s health.
The Department of Veterans Affair posted a flyer on its website Friday, regarding the shutdown, explaining that all VA medical facilities and clinics will remain fully operational. The flyer all posts operational phone numbers for veterans.