Pres. Trump announces new ways to help veterans get medical care

US President Donald Trump (L) and US Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin (C) watch a video conference with a patient after speaking about new technology used by the Department of Veterans Affairs during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House August 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski

WASHINGTON — The government wants to make it easier for veterans to get medical care and is promoting new ways to use technology to help.

President Donald Trump says the goal is to greatly expand access, especially for mental health care and suicide prevention.

Pres. Trump says veterans in rural areas will also benefit. The initiatives Pres. Trump announced Thursday at the White House include using video technology and diagnostic tools to conduct medical exams. Veterans also will be able to use mobile devices to make and manage VA doctor appointments.

VA Secretary David Shulkin says the goal is better health care for veterans whether they are in their homes or traveling.

The new programs are in addition to existing “telehealth” programs that Shulkin says provided care to more than 700,000 veterans last year