Veteran waits 7 years for surgery at Phoenix VA

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Vet waits years for surgery (Photo source: KPHO/KTVK) Vet waits years for surgery (Photo source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

We have been uncovering problem after problem with the Phoenix VA health care system in Phoenix. And now, another veteran is coming forward complaining of broken promises.

Harry Golden says he simply can't take it anymore. He's waited seven years for an appointment, and has even brought his concerns to Senator John McCain, but he says nothing has happened. 

The highly-decorated Army and Navy veteran just wants surgery to ease him of constant carpal tunnel pain. He says he has tried and tried to get a surgery scheduled and get post-operative care. He says every time he thinks he's made progress, he hits another dead end.

He's only 47, but relies on a cane after suffering severe injuries during his three combat tours overseas. He says he has seen just about everything, but says nothing quite compares to the lack of care he's received since coming home. "They practice a campaign of intimidation of stonewalling and intimidation," he said of the VA.

Golden calls it a complete disconnect when it comes to the necessary surgery he needs. "I've got 15 pages from the VA, all the struggles I had to get trying to get a post-op care coordinated," he said. He blames the wait on continued lack of coordination between the outside clinic and his surgeon at the VA.

He says even his letters to Senator John McCain for answers didn't work. "Basically the VA is stonewalling Senator McCain, he's telling me that there's nothing he can do because the VA isn't cooperating with him." 

With each passing year, Golden's condition has worsened, but he's not giving up the fight for answers and hopes it will eventually inspire change. "Nothing is going to happen until the house is clean, until people are fired, people are held accountable, people go to jail and then we might get some results," he said.

A VA public affairs spokesman responded to me and these concerns immediately and said they will be contacting Mr. Golden to ensure he gets the health care he deserves.

[Special section: VA hospital troubles]

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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