Angry Veterans Want Changes From VA

By  | 

Wait times at VA clinics and hospitals are way too long. It's well documented, and the problem still hasn't been fixed, at least here in Southern Colorado.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs' most recent report, the wait times for the Colorado Springs clinic were the highest in the state for the number of veterans they treat.

More than 27 percent of patients were forced to wait more than 30 days for their appointments. In Pueblo, about 20 percent were forced to wait more than a month.

It's these reoccurring problems that have veterans and lawmakers fed up and fired up.

Monday, U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman met with vets in Colorado Springs. Lamborn had harsh words for the VA administration, and said there needs to be more accountability to help make things right.

"They are dropping the ball," Lamborn said.

In February, we reported major issues at the Colorado Springs clinic. An internal investigation showed employees delayed care and even falsified records.

"It's got to be easier to discipline people when there is a problem," Lamborn added.

During the discussion, several veterans talked about the struggle of being forced to wait weeks and jump through bureaucratic hoops to be seen and get help.

"I think that every single service member in this country, if they were asked right now, would say, ‘Yes, we want an immediate change in the VA,’ and I would say that too," veteran David Gambrell told us.

Gambrell said he believes their voices were heard by the congressmen, but now is the time to do something.

"I think it's a matter of action now, it's a call to action, it's a matter of us having a common voice," Gambrell said.

Lamborn said they've already passed some bills in the legislature, but are now stuck and lagging behind in the Senate.