12 OYS: Augusta VA medical screening delay raising new concerns about care

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / May 9, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Disabled veteran Dennis Mattson served his country well, and said the VA for the most part has done the same.

"They have been real good to me, and then there are cases like this that just really aggravate the devil out of me," said Mattson.

The 70 year-old said on March 29, he had an appointment for a GI screening at Charlie Norwood VA Hospital. Mattson said he waited for a VA transportation van to pick him up, but it never showed up.

He called the hospital and said he was surprised when a representative told him his name was not on the list.

"I do not know how it happened, but anyway it did," said Mattson.

Mattson said what a scheduled told him next, really anger him.

"I could care less about your transportation problems. That is not my problem. Your problem is to get here," said Mattson recalling the conversation.

He said he was told he would have to wait until late June to get a new appointment for his GI screening. But on Wednesday, Mattson said he had to go to the VA's emergency room after he began bleeding.

Last year a 12 On Your Side investigation uncovered long wait times and a lack of proper medical care that led to the death of 3 veterans. We also found a backlog of GI screenings that numbered in the thousands.

"You keep on getting put on a list, if you do have a problem, mine could be a whole lot worse and it can get worse," said Mattson.

We contacted the VA hospital and a spokesperson told us they would "research and assist Mattson's situation."

Within hours of contacting the VA hospital, Mattson called us back. He said after the VA found out News 12 was interviewing him, his phone lit up. He now has an appointment and transportation.

News 12 will make sure the VA keeps its word.

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