VA apologizes for leaving veteran at outpatient clinic - myfoxcarolinas.com

VA apologizes for leaving veteran at outpatient clinic

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ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A 53-year-old Marine Corps veteran is receiving an apology from the Department of Veterans Affairs after he says he was left by himself at the Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Orange City.

“I got there about 1:00 pm and I think it was about 20 minutes or a half hour until I saw a nurse , pretty standard, so I saw a nurse went through a battery of questions that you go through and then was asked to go back out and wait in the waiting room,” said Jeffrey Duck of Deltona.

Duck said that he went to the VA clinic to see his doctor for a prescription refill for his pain medication. He was a walk-in appointment so he expected a bit of wait.

“Somewhere around 3 o’clock I went up to the front desk I felt like time was kind of passing and they’re usually quicker than that,” Duck said.

He said staff members continued to tell him to keep waiting in the front reception area to see a doctor, even as they were closing at 4 o’clock, around 5 o’clock he realized he was all alone.

“I was there waiting to get a pain medication filled, so the longer I was there the worse the pain was,” said Duck.

He took video with his cell phone showing the empty facility, and soon after you can hear the security alarm go off.

“At that point it really hit me, it’s like I think I really am stuck here alone,” Duck added.

After he called police, officers arrived to disarm the alarm.

In a statement officials from the VA said, “We want to apologize to Mr. Duck for his experience yesterday at the Orange City VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. The Orange City VA’s Chief Medical Officer reached out to Mr. Duck to assist him with his health care needs. We are looking at our closing procedures and will make changes to ensure that this does not happen again.”

As the veteran reflects on his time overseas, and his experiences with the VA upon returning, he said this one small incident sheds light on a much bigger problem with the department as a whole.

“If they can’t keep that straight, how are they going keep the more important things straight, it’s just an indication that there’s still a lot more for them to do,” Duck said.

Duck said that he did receive an apology from the VA, and was eventually able to get his medication the next morning.

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