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VA Doug Chase Doctor's Appointment: Vet Gets Slot 2 Years After Death

Image: VA Doug Chase Doctor's Appointment: Vet Gets Slot 2 Years After Death

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 10:51 AM

Vietnam veteran Doug Chase died two years ago waiting for a doctor's appointment at a VA hospital. Shockingly, Suzanne Chase, his widow, received a letter from the Veterans Affairs department two weeks ago informing her that her husband was finally approved.

She showed the letter, dated June 12, 2014, to CBS Boston. "We are committed to providing primary care in a timely manner and would greatly appreciate a prompt response," the note reads, in part.

Chase explained that she would never forget opening the letter.

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"It was addressed to my husband and I opened it," she told reporters. "I was in complete disbelief. It was 22 months too late, I kind of thought I was in the twilight zone when I opened this letter and read it."

She said that her husband was diagnosed in 2011 with a brain tumor. In 2012, she requested treatment for him at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, which is close to their home in Acton.

The couple waited four months with no response. He then died in August 2012.

Chase said the department must've known her husband was dead before sending the recent letter because she applied for funeral benefits. The funeral benefits were denied, however, because Doug was never treated at a VA facility.

"I was like 'you have to be kidding, right?' . . . It is absurd. It made me angry because I just don’t think our veterans should be treated this way," she said.

Chase said that she hopes that telling her and her late husband's story will encourage others to come forward and demand reform.

"I am hoping if other people speak out, they can improve the system, so no one else dies waiting for an appointment," she said.

After reporters called the VA, the department released a statement of apology.

"Thank you for bringing this regrettable issue to our attention. We apologize for our error and any difficulties this has caused you. We will examine our process, do what we can to fix it, and institute measures to prevent this from happening again," it read in part.




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Vietnam veteran Doug Chase died two years ago waiting for a doctor's appointment at a VA hospital. Shockingly, Suzanne Chase, his widow, received a letter from the Veterans Affairs department two weeks ago informing her that her husband was finally approved.
va, doug chase, doctors, appointment
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2014-51-02
Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 10:51 AM
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