VFW leader responds to VA hospital criticism during Flint visit

VFW Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien speaking to Post 3087 on his visit to Flint.

The Department of Veterans Affairs hospital system is being accused of making some patients wait too long for treatment as the national leader of a veterans group made a visit to Mid-Michigan.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander-in-Chief says his organization is looking into claims that V.A. Hospitals were altering records to make wait times appear shorter.

V.F.W. Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien made a visit to a post in Flint on Monday.

While V.A Hospitals in Michigan are not being accused of altering records, like in other states, Michigan veterans still deal with delays in treatment and disability claims.

Veteran Dan Callaway says the V.A. needs to speed up how it processes paperwork for benefits.

â??My original claim I filed. It took 14 months which is not a long time compared to people I talked to who waited two, three years,â?? said Dan Callaway, a Marine who served in Vietnam.

V.F.W. Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien says his organization has been committed to advocating for veterans for 115 years. He says the organizationâ??s approach to checking in on veterans in the hospitals has also changed.

â??We do send our veterans service people out unannounced now to some V.A. Hospitals to talk to the patients,â?? said Thien.

The VFW Commander-in-Chief says the group is working with the V.A. to cut down on processing times for claims. He also says the newly announced federal investigations into the hospital issue is a good start to improving care.