Veterans having a hard time reaching the VA Medical Center because of new phone system

ATLANTA — Veterans trying to reach the Atlanta VA Medical Center are having trouble getting through on the phone.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray confirmed there is a problem with a new phone system installed at the Atlanta VA.

Veterans reached out to Channel 2 Action News for help after having trouble getting through to the VA to schedule doctor’s appointments and refill prescriptions.

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“I’m scared as hell, man, so I’m on the phone all the time,” Army veteran and Clayton County resident John Lomax said.

“The phones have been bad. Real bad,” Lomax said.

Lomax says he’s been calling three times a day, every day, for two weeks.

He is trying to get help coordinating transportation, appointments and medication for the shingles and kidney stones he was diagnosed with three months ago.

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Lomax is one of several veterans to call Channel 2 Action News after having trouble getting through on the phone for help at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

So, we contacted the VA. Officials there confirmed there are problems right now with the phones and stated that the VA is working to fix them.

They provided the following statement:

“The Atlanta VA health care system is acclimating to a new phone system and experienced some technical issues following the installation, May 15. Despite these glitches, the new system will ultimately ease telephone access for veterans and improve overall communications.”

“I have one pill in there right now that I’m like, treasuring,” Lomax told us.

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John Lomax was down to his last pain pill before finally getting through on the phone to someone at the VA Wednesday after two weeks of trying. That VA staffer helped him refill his prescription and is scheduling his care.

A VA spokesman tells us they are using alternative means of communication with veterans and prioritizing urgent issues to keep these phone problems from impacting patient care.

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