For nearly a year, WRDW News 12 in Augusta, Ga, has investigated and reported on veterans who say their care has been excessively delayed.
Richard Lapine, a Navy veteran who suffers from stage three chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is just one of those veterans. He said the lung disease is gradually killing him.
“This is just going to get worse, and worse, and worse. There’s no cure for it,” Lapine said.
Lapine said he has tried for months now to schedule an appointment at Augusta’s Charlie Norwood VA Hospital. Lapine said until he gets one, he has to use multiple inhalers every day, and that is still not enough.
Lapine is not the only veteran on standby. A federal audit has found more than 130 newly enrolled patients at Augusta’s VA hospital who requested appointments in the last 10 years, were never scheduled. The report said scheduling issues at the hospital will require further review.
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