Local veterans sound off over health care at town hall meeting - WRBL

Local veterans sound off over health care at town hall meeting

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The man in charge of the VA health care system that treats veterans in our area was in Phenix City Tuesday to hear from vets.

James Talton held a town hall meeting for Stakeholders at the American Legion Post 135 on 13th  Street. Veterans and caregivers asked questions. Talton told the crowd he's working hard to meet the needs of veterans by giving them quality care in a timely fashion. He said the majority of vets get appointments within fourteen days. We asked him if he was concerned about the face-to-face audits ordered by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. The call for an audit comes on the heels of reports that veterans have died while they waited for treatment at VA hospitals. There are also allegations of cooking the books, and wait lists.

"Do I expect to find any improprieties, no I don't. Is there a possibility with 1,500 employees, you can't know. But we've developed management structures designed to look at things like that. For instance, I heard two months ago that we may not have been scheduling patients appropriately. It was based more on training than it was on inappropriate scheduling," said Talton, the Director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.

As News Three reported last month, a new 55,000 square foot VA Clinic is set to open in Columbus in 2016.  Once finalized,  a Memorandum of Understanding will allow veterans in our area access to specialized care at the new Martin Army Community Hospital when it opens.

Teresa Whitaker

In addition to co-anchoring the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights, Teresa serves as the Healthwatch reporter for WRBL. More>>

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