'Stop lying to us': Vets speak out at Fayetteville VA town hall meetings
Posted September 19, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Veterans who are upset with problems at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center were given a microphone Friday night. During two town hall meetings at the hospital, some veterans said they have been mistreated.
Brian Magyar said he was turned away without seeing a doctor.
“(I was told), ‘You have to wait until tomorrow morning. There is no doctor here to see you,’” he said.
Complaints of long waits for appointments, rude staff, issues with medical bills and other problems were voiced during the two meetings, one of which was standing room only.
“For God sakes, tell your people to stop lying to us,” said Kelvin Graves. “A lot of guys are frustrated, but they are not going to say anything. But I am frustrated, which means you are going to be frustrated.”
Medical center director Elizabeth Goolsby said the veterans need to be heard. She promised to follow up and, in some cases, pointed veterans to employees who could help right away.
“Anytime they feel they did not get the best quality care, those are all my concerns,” she said.
Goolsby says she has been frustrated, too. She has been so frustrated that she recently shut down the hospital’s emergency room “because there was not sufficient staff to keep it open.” At the same time, the numbers of veterans to be served continues to grow.
Goolsby says the public forums will continue, and an advisory group will also be created. The hospital is also working with a new vendor to properly staff and reopen the emergency room.