Veterans Express Concerns Over Health Care

Dothan, AL - More than a dozen veterans filled the Dothan Elks Lodge Wednesday. While most served in different wars, they're all fighting the same battle now.

Retired Marine Corporal John Hembrough lost his leg in the Vietnam War.
He has been receiving veterans health care for the past 40 years.

“There has to be a great improvement since 1968 that was a really tough time back then,” he said.

But there are still improvements to be made. Since moving to Dothan seven years ago, Hembrough hasn't been pleased with his treatment.

“One of the concerns for me is patient confidentiality. Normally I would feel a bond with a doctor, always have. That was non-existent at the Dothan facility,” said Hembrough.

That's just one of the concerns James Talton plans to address. Talton is the director for The Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. Town halls allow veterans to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly.

“We're taking time to talk with the veterans to find out their opinion of the care we provide. I want to know what's working well for them. What's gone terribly wrong, and everything in between,” said Talton.

Many say they don't feel appreciated, have trouble getting someone to answer the phone, and experience delays because of a shortage of doctors.

But Hembrough says gatherings like this are the first step in the right direction.

“Under Mr. Talton's leadership, I really have a better feeling now then when I moved down here,” said Hembrough.

If you missed this town hall there are a few ways you can contact leaders.
Either through a patient advocate by phone or you can fill out a "speak with the director" card at any VA facility.

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