Wait Times To See A VA Doctor An Issue For Michigan Veterans

DETROIT (WWJ) – U.S. Congressman Gary Peters heard from local veterans about their personal experiences at Veteran Administration health facilities — in the wake of a scandal in parts of the country involving patient care records.

A standing room only crowd turned up at the Michigan Veterans Foundation to voice their concerns about the wait for medical care through the VA  reports WWJ’s Marie Osborne.

“Pitiful,” said Navy veteran Horace Anderson in reaction to the scandal. “Pitiful and I hate to say it but sometimes it’s kind of expected.”

Although he says he’s satisfied with his care through the VA, it sometimes takes up to three weeks to be seen. If there is an issue that can’t wait the three weeks, Anderson says, you head to the emergency room.

The average person will go to the hospital and see a doctor, whenever you want. Actually, you just make an appointment, they make appointments for you so … it’s tedious,” said Anderson.

Most vets voiced displeasure about the wait time to get in to be seen by a doctor, not the actual care given.

“Sometimes it takes too long, but if they’ve got emergency care … I guess we’ll be alright,” said Marine veteran Kevin Jackson.

Congressman Peters says he wants to see the VA patient scheduling system changed immediately.

“There is no indication that this is happening here in the great state of Michigan, the Detroit area but I think it’s very important to hear from the veterans – how they are being treated here in Detroit and what they would like to see the VA do,” said Peters.

“We owe these men and women the treatment they have earned and deserve,” he added. “If it takes overtime, for the VA officials to process these veterans – they need to do that because it’s outrageous when someone needs treatment and then they are put on a waiting list and simply can’t see a doctor in time.”

“You have to take care of the people who have fought for you,” added Anderson.

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