Veterans Frustrated with VA Health Care in Las Vegas - 8 News NOW

Veterans Frustrated with VA Health Care in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS -- After serving their country, some Las Vegas veterans are feeling betrayed here at home.

An uproar from that community over mistreatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Las Vegas has sparked an investigation. It could lead to changes in veteran medical facilities across the Las Vegas valley.

Allegations of rude hospital staff and extraordinarily long waits have been in the news for months and now more and more veterans have come forward with similar problems, including Korean War veteran Chris Christoff.

Christoff doesn't keep photos of his time in the Marine Corps. He tries not to think about the friends he lost in Korea, but every day old injuries serve as a reminder.

War wounds are getting worse with age. He says complications with arthritis, and his hearing have made him very familiar with long waits and poor attitudes at VA medical facilities across southern Nevada.

"It is like you are in the military. You sit down and shut up and hope that people take notice of you," Christoff said.

A service officer at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post near Nellis Air Force Base works with veterans every day. He says complaints like Christoff's are far too common.

"A lot of my veterans are complaining they'll go enroll and what happens is they tell them, 'we can't get you a primary care doctor for six months.' Well, what do we do for six months?" service officer Jon Fennych said.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee is already investigating the VA medical center in North Las Vegas after a reported case of mistreatment.

Congresswoman Dina Titus says she has talked to the director of all the VA medical facilities, Isabel Duff, to make sure changes are made.

"She knows that is unacceptable, and we want our hospital to be the gold standard for both caring and customer service," Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev. said.

Christoff says veterans deserve to have the problem fixed.

"We all make mistakes, but they don't own up to their mistakes," he said. He also says veterans in Las Vegas deserve an apology.

A spokesperson for the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System said he could not comment on the specific investigation at the VA medical center in North Las Vegas citing privacy laws but did say if they ever find flaws in their system, they work to fix them.

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