The final straw for Veteran Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned today, was a VA Inspector General investigation revealing that 1,700 vets, scheduled to receive care at the Phoenix VA, were kept waiting for appointments for up to six months. And, Connecticut veterans can relate to playing the waiting game.
Ron Coveney served in the Marine Corp from 1977 to 1981 and relies on the West Haven VA for healthcare, reluctantly.
“It`s a teaching hospital,” said Coveney. “So, you gotta go through 23 students to get to the doctor.”
And, he claims he has received improper diagnoses for an eye condition he has because he never got to see a doctor about it.
The commander of American Legion Post 96, in West Hartford, says, compared to what allegedly transpired at the Phoenix VA, where some 1,700 patients had their care delayed for up to six months, he feels fortunate with his care.
“I was supposed to have one in May and now it`s delayed to June,” noted Ken Hungerford, who is a Korean War veteran.
In order to determine if or when veterans qualify for care through the VA, they must complete a means test, according to Hungerford.
“They’ve got to do away with that,” said an impassioned Hungerford. “You`re not gonna get in unless you`re under a certain salary level.”
Hepatitis C has nearly killed Army veteran Ron Sutherland several times. And, he says, he`s been waiting for a liver transplant for 16 years.
“I was told in Hartford Hospital, they`d put me on the (transplant) list,” said Sutherland, who’s from Manchester. “But, the VA won`t. I`m on social security and disability and the only insurance I have is between medicare and the VA.”
Coveney says he`s been waiting for nearly 5 years for a test to determine why he has such memory loss.
“After 5 years, I think they should`ve been able to fit me in for a two hour test,” said Coveney, who lives in Rocky Hill.”
Coveney is among a group of veterans are putting together a protest march from the Old State Housde in Hartford to the state capitol on July 3rd. And, they’re hoping veterans nationwide will also march to their Capitol buildings.
42 VA medical facilities are under investigation for delaying care and falsifying patient appointment records, but West Haven is not among them.