by: Alyana Gomez Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Veterans are dying from lingering ailments because they can't get seen by a doctor in time to treat them.
That's according to Veterans Affairs officials and backed by local Congressman Ted Yoho, who admits he's heard horror stories from local constituents.
"I know people personally that have had their family members die because of dragging-feet policies," said Yoho.
New numbers just revealed Wednesday by the Senate Committee show 646,000 veterans, nationwide, are waiting at least one month to see a doctor and 40,000 veterans are waiting four months.
"It's very sad how we are going to treat the cream of the crop of our Americans that are serving for us," said veteran Jessica Sears.
Sears got out of the Air National Guard as a senior Airman in the year 2000. She said she's seen her fair share of sub-par medical care from the VA. Just getting into the system took six months, but recently she's seen a decrease in wait times.
Since they built the new facility on Jefferson off of Boulevard it seems that everything is more streamlined," she said.
There are also more doctors to serve patients. That's something current VA Secretary Sloan Gibson believes is the solution to the problem. He's asking Congress for $17.6 billion to pay for new facilities and the hiring of 10,000 more doctors.
"To throw money at a broken system is the wrong way to go. At this point, we need to maybe do some more studies to see where that money needs to go," said Yoho.