The Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System says the current wait time for new patients is "unacceptable," and steps are being taken to improve access to care.
Acting public affairs officer Dorothea McBride told WSFA 12 News in an email Wednesday that delivering high-quality care to veterans is a top priority, and CAVHS is taking several actions.
WSFA has repeatedly asked for interviews and access to the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA medical centers. Those requests which have not yet been granted. McBride said Central Alabama VA Director James Talton was out of town on business.
According to McBride, CAVHS has done the following things to increase access:
The Department of Veterans Affairs released its audit Monday, looking into long wait times at health facilities. The numbers show that the facilities in Montgomery and Tuskegee have some of the nation's longest waits for new patients.
As a result of the initial audit findings, there were 10 locations in the VA Southeast Network that were flagged for further review and investigation into suspected misconduct. The Montgomery and Tuskegee locations were included on that list.
Alabama Congressman Martha Roby is blaming the Central Alabama VA Director, James Talton, for misleading her. She says employees Talton said had been relieved of their duties actually had been reassigned to other facilities She says Talton has since apologized.
"If a member of Congress can't get a straight answer from the VA, just think what our veterans go through on a daily basis," Roby said in a statement Wednesday.
Laird Culver says he's surprised to see the VA medical centers in Montgomery and Tuskegee on the list of those doing disservice to veterans. Culver is the commander of the Alabama Disabled American Veterans which has 33 chapters across the state.
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