U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, left, speaks at a congressional hearing in Roswell Wednesday regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Pictured on the right is U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. (Jeff Tucker Photo)
Some veterans who attended a congressional field hearing in Roswell Wednesday said they heard a lot a talk about improvements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but were waiting for results.
The congressional field hearing chaired by U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., became heated when Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, asked about the wait time for medical appointments for New Mexico’s veterans.
Officials from the VA said the average wait time for New Mexico veterans seeking a primary care consultation is 47 days. The average wait time for a New Mexico veteran to see a mental health professional is 41 days, and the average wait time to see a specialist is 64 days, the VA officials testified.
Dr. Jaime Robbins of the VA said the wait times are for primary perspective new patients, prompting Miller to object to the terminology.
“Wait, wait, wait,” Miller said. “What the hell is a primary perspective?”
Miller said the VA officials were changing the metrics and speaking in esoteric terms only known to VA officials.
“All we want to know is how long it takes a vet to see a doc, period,” Miller said.
U.S. Reps. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, also participated in Wednesday’s congressional field hearing at the Roswell Convention & Civic Center.
About a hundred veterans attended, some of whom told the Daily Record afterward that improvements to the Veterans Administration would speak louder than words.
“It was a lot of talking,” said Frank Carrillo, of Roswell, a U.S. Army veteran. “Hopefully, there will be some results.”
Jimmy Montoya, of Roswell, a Login to read more