Closings and delays

Veteran complains about cancelled appointments at VA clinic

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- Richard Manthe served in the U.S. Air Force. He says, “I just felt that was my obligation.” But as a veteran, he says the system set up to care for him failed. He told FOX8, “I’m being mistreated. I feel disrespected.”

Manthe says he was trying to see a doctor at the VA Community-based Outpatient Clinic in Winston-Salem, but his initial appointment was cancelled and rescheduled four times in less than three months.

He called to ask why and said the staff member offered no help. FOX8 contacted a patient advocate and quickly heard back from the VA.

The interim medical director for the clinic, Dr. Tamara Burks told us, “You are correct. There were several scheduling errors and that was very unfortunate.” She also pointed out this happens rarely. She said, “97 percent of our patients, new patients, new enrollees are scheduled within 30 days so this is a rare exception.” She takes full responsibility for what happened to Manthe. Dr. Burks said, “We apologize for any inconvenience to Mr. Manthe.”

But for this veteran, it wasn’t just the cancelled appointments. He said he felt there was an attitude at the VA that he didn’t matter. Manthe told us, “I served my country and one of the things when you serve your country there are the benefits that come along with it.”

Veterans may find patient advocate information at http://www.salisbury.va.gov or by calling (336) 768-3296 ext. 1484.