Veteran's eye exam request becomes huge inconvenience | KOB 4

Veteran's eye exam request becomes huge inconvenience

Meg Hilling
February 11, 2018 06:57 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Reading is more than a passion for U.S. Navy veteran a retired elementary school teacher Charles Dotson – it's been a calling his entire life.


He says he's been motivated to teach younger kids to help them get a jump-start on their literacy skills. When his eyesight began to worsen with age, he turned to the Veteran's Affairs health care system for help.

"I've been trying for close to two years to get an eye exams," he said. "Recently they ended up calling me from Phoenix telling me to drive from my house – which is less than 30 miles from Gallup – and drive to Eagar, Arizona to get my eyes examined."

That returned call in December left Dotson with more questions than answers, as well as lingering confusion about why he'd have to drive over two-and-a-half hours to an eastern Arizona instead of just going to Albuquerque.

He turned down the appointment only to discover a few weeks later that it had been scheduled anyway.

"If I had an appointment on Jan. 4, I didn't know about it," he said. "So how can I have an appointment and not know about it?"

According to documents Dotson had from the VA's office, there must have been a call between the TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the VA and himself. But that call never occurred.

"I'm supposed to involved," Dotson said.

KOB reached out to New Mexico Veteran's Affairs to understand how this situation came to be for Dotson, and they provided the following response.

"The Veteran's Choice Program allows the veteran to decide whether or not to opt for private sector care in his or her community, rather than waiting for the next available VA appointment."

Dotson has since been informed by the VA that an eye exam has been arranged for him in Gallup.




Meg Hilling

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