Congressman meets with local vets about VA problems - 8 News NOW

Congressman meets with local vets about VA problems

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LAS VEGAS -- The Veteran Affairs health care system is under the microscope as medical centers and hospitals across the country are audited.

Many veterans in southern Nevada complain of long waits both for appointments and in the facilities.

One congressman from Nevada says he is working to get some of their problems fixed. Veterans say the VA system needs to be fixed from the bottom up. They told Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., specific problems they would like to see addressed.

Rep. Horsford hosted his Veterans Advisory Council to prepare for talks with the assistant secretary of the entire VA.

Leaders of many different veteran groups brought up issues specific to southern Nevada.

One concern was the more than two-year delay for the building of a permanent clinic in Pahrump, despite receiving funding from Congress.

Horsford says something needs to be done about the VA hospital in North Las Vega being understaffed.

“What we are seeing here locally is there are some positions they could be filling that they are not, and so that's one of the questions I will ask the assistant secretary what can we do to get those positions filled now?” Horsford said.

Horsford also says there are specialty physician jobs vacant because there is a lack of them in the community as a whole. He says more needs to be done to recruit doctors from outside southern Nevada.

He will be bringing everything he heard during Wednesday’s meeting to his meeting with the assistant VA secretary June 17.

Horsford says some progress has already been made. He pointed to the fact that the Las Vegas benefits office is in the process of hiring 20 people, which is a big increase from the three employees he says are currently working there.

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