Rural Health Care
This is an exciting time to be a part of the VA Health Care System. Initiatives, such as those associated with rural health, demonstrate VA’s commitment to the principle that all Veterans receive the same high level of expert, competent, consistent and compassionate health care, regardless of where they choose to live.
In rural areas, basic levels of health care or preventative care may not be available to support residents’ long-term health and well-being. Almost a quarter of all Veterans in the United States, 4.7 million, return from active military careers to reside in rural communities. Veterans choose rural communities for a variety of reasons: closer proximity to family, friends and community; open space for recreation; more privacy; lower cost of living; or less crowded towns and schools.
While Veterans may enjoy the benefits of rural living, they may also experience rural health care challenges that are intensified by combat-related injuries and illnesses. VA recognizes the need to provide accessible care to rural Veterans and allocates 32 percent of its health care budget to rural Veteran care.
VA has also invested in telehealth technology; taking the Veteran’s health care experience beyond the “brick-and-mortar operation.” Veterans can now communicate with a care provider, both visually and verbally, through a TV screen.