LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Delays in diagnosis and patient care at the VA Southern Nevada are once again making headlines.
Contact 13 has a new report about multiple failures in the case of a local veteran.
Suffering from a condition where every day counts, the veteran had to wait six months for a proper evaluation.
The delay caused a domino effect in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease that ended his life.
In need of urgent surgery, the veteran fell victim to bureaucracy.
This newly released report from the VA Inspector General says the veteran also wasn’t notified of test results in a timely fashion — partly due to failed follow-up on a non-VA doctor’s recommendation for a lung biopsy.
There were delays in getting authorization for non-VA medical care, difficulty getting chemotherapy medications and delayed treatment of what turned out to be lung cancer — which kills more Americans than any other form.
It all happened in 2014 — a scandal-plagued year for the VA when some 40 veterans in Phoenix died while on waiting lists for medical care.
Here in Las Vegas, Contact 13 exposed long wait times and canceled appointments compromising care for Southern Nevada veterans.
And that same year, we reported an eerily similar case to the one detailed in the OIG’s report — the story of Gene Broadwell, a Coast Guard veteran who died of lung cancer.
“This man who’d never been sick in his life was treated like some piece of garbage thrown out by the VA,” said Broadwell’s widow, Delores.
The last year of Gene Broadwell’s life was peppered with appointment delays his wife believes were a death sentence.
“They could have found it maybe earlier and did the chemo and the radiation. He’d still be sitting here talking to us.”
The VA acknowledged they could have done better to serve the man who served his country.
“Is it fair to say you don’t want to see another Broadwell case?” Darcy Spears asked then-VA Chief of Medicine Dr. Milan Parekh
“Absolutely,” Dr. Parekh answered. “I…