GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Doug Little said it took more than three months for him to get an appointment at the Grand Junction VA Medical Center this year.
"We don't have any appointments that this doctor can see him," said Mary Lou Doak, Little's caregiver, of the response to her multiple phone calls. "We're like are you kidding me? For six weeks he goes through this. He loses 15 pounds, just drops it like that. He's so weak he can hardly stand up."
Little was experiencing nausea, vomiting and dizziness every day for months, while request for appointments went unanswered, Doak said.
"I honestly felt like taking my own life because it was day after day, week after week, it gets old," Little said.
When Little did get to see a doctor, Doak said she was unattentive.
"It was her last day of employment at the VA," Doak said. "She had been there not even six months I know. He was the last patient of the day. Obviously she had already checked out."
Little ended up in the hospital shortly after and was able to get the treatment he needed, but Doak said it shouldn't have taken so long to get it.
"He's lost six months of his life, of quality of life," she said. "It's hard for him because he had a stroke when he was 36 years old."
However, other VA patients said they've never had a negative experience at the Grand Junction facility.
"Once I retired I wanted to be near a good VA, so I came to this one," said Corey Hulse. "I've had numerous medications throughout my retirement so far and all of the cares and support have just been fantastic here."
Hulse said he's never waited more than two weeks for an appointment and all of his care has been efficient.