Greenville Veterans Say They Wait Months for Medical Treatment - WSPA.com

Greenville Veterans Say They Wait Months for Medical Treatment

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Tempers flared at a town hall meeting at the Greenville VA Outpatient Clinic Thursday morning. Tempers flared at a town hall meeting at the Greenville VA Outpatient Clinic Thursday morning.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -

They served our country, but now vets say they’re getting the runaround just to get access to the health care they need.

Tempers flared at a town hall meeting at the Greenville VA Outpatient Clinic Thursday morning.

So many veterans wanted their voices heard, the VA had to split the meeting up into two sessions.

What the vets had to say wasn’t pretty.

“I want you to know the system’s not working,” said Greenville veteran Luke Burnett, standing up in the crowd. “I gave up, man. It’s been three years. I got tired. I’ve been to the VA five times.”

Veterans told story after story of waiting months -- even years -- to get treatment, being unable to get prescriptions filled and eventually going to outside doctors out-of-pocket.

Interim Director of the Columbia VA John Goldman fielded questions at the town hall. He said he didn’t know about the long waits.

“I wasn’t aware of any kind of waits up here. There shouldn’t be,” said Goldman.

It’s not just the waits making vets mad. It’s the red tape.

“If I get sick on the weekend and I don’t have any other medical care, I’ve got to take a chance on going to a local hospital and the VA is then going to decide whether they’re going to pay it or not,” said Marine veteran Terry McClodden.

7 On Your Side asked Goldman what the VA is going to do about it.

“We need to take these, take them back to Columbia, work with the staff up here of course because they’re part of the solution, and then we definitely need to take these concerns back and fix them,” said Goldman.

Marine veteran Randall Tate said he’s not convinced anything will change.

“Once they leave, it’s back to the same routine – just a dog and pony show,” said Tate.

Another one of the complaints that came up in the hearing was about the new Greenville VA Clinic’s parking lot. While the lot has more than 70 handicap parking spaces, disabled vets said it’s still a long walk to get inside. Goldman said the VA will now look into getting a volunteer-operated golf cart to help shuttle injured vets to the door.

If you missed Thursday’s town hall, you’ve got another chance tomorrow morning at the Anderson County Public Library. It’s on 300 South McDuffie Street from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Related:

VA Holds Town Hall Meetings in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson

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