Veterans voice concern, praise for ABQ VA

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The investigation into those Veterans Affairs allegations includes New Mexico.

At Albuquerque’s busy VA hospital, there seems to be mixed reviews about the service provided there.

The Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque is a busy place.

Serving New Mexico’s veterans, it’s also becoming the talk of national headlines centered around treatment delays and doctored appointment records.

“Well, my requests have been, I won’t say ignored, but they’ve been benched long enough to give a person concern,” Emiliano Castillo said.

Castillo said he has been waiting months to see someone about his sleep apnea problem.

“I also see frustration in other veterans that they’re not doing a good job for and that’s where my concern is,” Castillo said.

A Vietnam veteran, Castillo said there’s a big time backup for a number of services. The allegations haven’t gone unnoticed.

Senator Tom Udall pushed for additional resources from the Senate Appropriations Committee this week.

“To provide funding to expand the VA Inspector General’s investigation and calling out New Mexico as one of the states that urgently needs the attention of the inspector general,” Udall said on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C.

Not everyone, though, has a horror story.

“He now comes here for his heart work,” Christina Dreyfus said of her husband.

Dreyfus said her husband also suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is usually seen quickly and without any trouble.

“I have seen excellent service and giving them honor,” Dreyfus said.

KRQE News 13 reported Monday night about a doctor at the Albuquerque VA hospital who said a secret list of patient wait times was being moved or destroyed. The doctor also said many veterans waited months for basic medical care.

“There are times where I think we get ignored or put on the shelf for a while,” Castillo said.

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan is also speaking out about the allegations. In a statement Wednesday, he said the VA must act swift and restore trust.

KRQE News 13 reached out to Albuquerque’s VA hospital about the situation. A spokeswoman could only say that they’re in the process of getting an external review started.

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