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Disgruntled Veterans Voice Concerns At V.A. Town Hall Meeting

By Daniel Cherry | Published 03 Apr 2013 06:09pm | comments
Top Veterans Affairs officials say they're looking into complaints made about the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson. Hundreds of disgruntled veterans showed up to a town hall meeting on Wednesday to voice their concerns about the hospital.
At a rowdy tawn hall meeting, veterans grew frustrated when VA officials wouldn't address their individual concerns. The Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating whistleblower complaints about the hospital such as understaffing, poor sanitation, and improper care. Organizers designed the town hall to specifically focus on those issues, but many like Charles Robinson came to be heard for other reasons.
Robinson says scheduling is one issue.
"You schedule [veterans] a time, 12:00. It may be 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon before they even get service. That's totally unfair." 
Veterans raised concerns of inability to communicate with hospital officials and poor care. Samuel Burks says he had a stroke, but doctors aren't keeping proper records. 
"Why should I have to get my medical records amended when the doctors at the VA said I was diagnosed with a stroke. Y'all are playing with my life! Don't make me play with yours." said Burks.
Undersecretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Robert Petzel was on hand for the hearing. He says, even though many veterans are angry, he thinks overall the Jackson VA is headed in the right direction.
"We want to collect information about these individual complaints that people have and individual problems, and we will address every single one of them. I don't think that these individual things point to any systematic issue at the Jackson VA Medical Center."
The Office of Special Council sent a letter to the President and Congress last month calling for an investigation into the hospital. Officials with the VA Medical Center in Jackson say they have already resolved many of the issues that are being investigated. 




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