South GA veterans upset over V.A. health care

South GA veterans upset over V.A. health care
Source: (WALB)
But if you ask South Georgia veterans, they have their doubts. (Source: WALB)
But if you ask South Georgia veterans, they have their doubts. (Source: WALB)
Willie Ross (Source: WALB)
Willie Ross (Source: WALB)
Ronnie Marshall (Source: WALB)
Ronnie Marshall (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - President Donald Trump fired the Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs on Wednesday and hired a replacement.

That same day, inspectors reported that the V.A. had filled thousands of health care positions without giving the new employees a background check.

White House spokespersons promised that V.A. health care for veterans will be improved.

But if you ask South Georgia veterans, they have their doubts.

Willie Ross and Ronnie Marshall are both veterans who served during the Vietnam era.

And like many veterans of their time, they said they have health problems and are frustrated with the care they have received from the Veterans Administration.

"I need help. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," said Marshall.

Despite promises during the presidential campaign, these veterans said they have not seen any improvement in V.A. health care.

"No, in my experience it done got worse. Way worse," said Ross.

Ross, who is 70-years-old, is in hospice care for his heart.

Ross has good, technical equipment to check his health, but he said the care at the Dublin V.A. hospital is poor.

Ross said one of the biggest problems is changing doctors.

"When like I go to the doctor this month, when I go back next month I got a different doctor," said Ross.

Marshall walks with crutches because of swelling and soreness in his hip. He believes one reason for his problem is seeing different doctors each visit, but never a specialist.

"It's just crazy," said Marshall. "Why is Veterans giving me the runaround?  Three years to see what's wrong with my hip, that's crazy."

Marshall said the last doctor he saw about his hip sent him a letter diagnosing his back.

"She don't listen to your problem. She didn't even look at my hip. And this has been the problem," said Marshall.

Ross has long been a critic of health care by the V.A. and he said he will continue because many veterans are too scared to speak out.

"It's a shame we got to go through all this," said Ross.

Both Ross and Marshall said the first thing that needs improvement at the Dublin V.A. hospital is the phone system.

Both said their calls for information go unanswered.

They also said it needs a more consistent staff for their treatment.

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