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My story has multiple facets: veteran, mother of veterans and proud recipient of the whistler blower repercussions. Every day I see and hear veterans complain about the obstacles that they encounter trying to get appointments with their primary care providers, trying to get registered to be assigned a primary care provider — and for those that have been lucky enough to get appointments with a primary care provider, they then have to wait months for additional testing, or specialty appointments both in house and out. Appointments are frequently cancelled and rescheduled.

Currently, if you do have a primary care provider and call be seen prior to your regularly scheduled appointment time you will be told that it is not time for you to be seen. (How dare you get sick prior to your regular scheduled time!) You are advised to contact the nurse for your primary care provider whom you will generally have to leave a message. The last message I left took me a week to get a return call, and that was only because I also sent an email via MyHealthyVet. The answer I was given: based on the symptoms you are describing you need to go to an emergency room. Why thank you! — a week later. Thankfully I have access to a non-VA provider and had already been seen by the time the VA nurse decided to call me back. I did not call the nurse back to advise them of this as I wanted to see how long it would take to get them to respond.

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