VA clinic delays causing problems for local veteran


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Submitted: Wed, 09/10/2014 - 11:01pm
Updated: Thu, 09/11/2014 - 1:02am By:

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — VA clinics are facing severe scrutiny across the country. Now, one local veteran is speaking out saying the Port City is not immune to these problems.

“It’s ridiculous. We should not have to be waiting that amount of time just to receive the care that we desperately need,” veteran Robert Pressley said.

150 to 180 days, thats how long Pressley says he was told he would have to wait to see a primary care physician.

Pressley just moved to Wilmington, but he says if he would have known he’d be facing these kinds of issues he wouldn’t have come.

“I was promised my care would be available almost immediately,” Pressley said.

Pressley’s mother Jean Marie English says she doesn’t know if it’s because she began using Wilmington’s VA clinic when it first opened or if she’s just lucky. She’s not facing the same issues her son is seeing, but she says she knows he’s not alone.

“You can sit in the waiting room in Wilmington and you can hear people what the people are saying as they’re leaving,” English said. “They’re not getting the care that they’re needing.”

“When you start disbelieving in the system, you start to get very frustrated,” Pressley said. “If you can’t support the load of veterans that are coming in, then the government needs to place people in different care.”

We contacted a representative from the Fayetteville VA Hospital. They released a statement saying:

“We try to provide the best care possible, if they do have complaints we take those seriously and we have procedures to take care of them.”

The Fayetteville VA will hold a pair of town hall meetings next week with area veterans. The meetings are scheduled for Sept. 19 at 3 and 6 p.m. in the hospital’s auditorium. Veterans, family members and the public can ask questions and voice concerns about care at VA facilities.

7 Comments

  • Guest2020 says:

    I am not an Obama fan in any sense of the word, but these problems existed long before he took office. My grandfather, a WWII vet, had a stroke in the late 80s. The conditions at the VA hospital in Fayetteville were so deplorable, that once my grandfather was able to be moved, my family took him back to Whiteville and after that had all of his care seen to at the hospital there. When Columbus County hospital is the better of two, then you know something is wrong.

  • Gary Ross says:

    I moved from Cary to Wilmington last year. I had previously been cared for at the Durham VA and although not perfect the care was pretty good. I was also cared for at the Winston Salem VA Clinic before that and the care was very good. Then I moved to Wilmington. I was impressed by the nice new facility there but that is the only thing I have been impressed with. I received a notice from the VA saying my primary care doctor was no longer with the VA and I would be notified when I am assigned a new one. I had to wait to see the doctor who left for about 8 months. My next appointment is scheduled for May of 2015. I am running low on meds so I will have to go in as a walk in to get certain prescriptions filled. I found out that because those meds had been prescribed and filled at the Durham VA pharmacy, the Fayetteville had no record of. So it seems that the meds do not follow the veteran and one pharmacy cannot access another pharmacy records. If I had known that the lack of doctors here precludes seeing one when you need one, I would not have moved here either. I am a Vietnam veteran with a 90% disability rating.

  • guesty says:

    Thank you for your service to our country. Hopefully things will get better once the golfer in chief is out of the oval office.

  • Amy B says:

    The local VA wouldn’t help my 89 year old grandfather fill out paperwork after they somehow lost all of his records and forms from the Fayetteville VA hospital. After he completed his paperwork he waited 3 hours to be seen and was given a “courtesy” refill on a prescription they wouldn’t authorize to fully refill because of the misplaced transfer records on his bloodwork which he had already completed. Not to mention just the lack of customer service to the Veterans or lack of empathy – attitude because he is hard of hearing, which came from a submarine accident in WWII. We have found him a local PCP who actually conforms to the needs of an aging adult and doesn’t consider my grandfather to just be disposable like most people do for someone his age. New labs confirmed he was being overprescribed a type of medication the FDA doesn’t even allow in the MG he was taking. It’s worth the co-pay to know he isn’t being overlooked or mistreated.

  • msmith says:

    Get used to it folks. This is the progressive’s vision of healthcare in the US.

  • Robert Pressley says:

    I am the one who called the media. I have been in the system for almost 6 years. I started in Connecticut at the West Haven Va hospital, and my PMC was amazing. I had issues and was blatantly disrespected by other physicians there.. i also have received a botched procedure that has resulted in claw hand. During thattime I tried to aattend school through the Vocational rehabilitation program. And I was completely miss informed by my so called “Volk Rehab Specialist” and on Christmas eve received a bill for over $ 5,000.. i even have proof of admittance that a mistake was made. Yet I have been.. and still am repaying someone else’s failure to give proper information
    I then moved to Florida in hopes of a better system. And was blatantly lied to also about certain services they had available.
    So once again I lost everything I owned and moved my family to willmington once again with promises of almost immediate care. Which was a complete lie.
    I went to the media not only for me. But for every veteran of any age. We all need to speak up and stand up.. All Veterans and civilians.. I am tired of loosing everything I have due to the fact I can’t work. And I’m desperately hoping things change for myself and others..

    GOD BLESS ALL OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ALL BRANCHES OF SERVICE. !!!!

  • Joseph Williams says:

    I know of several men who fraught in WW11 can not get help with meds at VA because they do not have a DD 214. DD 214’s were not issued until the Korean war. The Va and DOD are there just to defraud the vets. Congress and the US Senate both know this but it will cost too much to give these men real health care, instead they waste BILLIONS on so called health care.

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