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DALLAS -- There were more troubles Tuesday night for the Dallas VA hospital, after a News 8 story last week in which veterans complained of poor quality of care at the facility.

The Office of Inspector General has just released a report critical of patient care and the long wait to get it.

In 2004, the Office of Inspector General called the Dallas VA Hospital the worst in the nation. And while current administrators say all of the old issues have been addressed, there are a number of local veterans who disagree.

Tony Mathis of Dallas has had to rely on the VA for his health care for five years.

I m not getting the quality of care I need, I know that, Mathis said.

He said he once waited six months to be outfitted with a pacemaker at the VA, and then another 11 hours in the doctor s office the day of his appointment.

From six in the morning until five in the afternoon, Mathis said. I hadn't eaten anything, I told them I hadn't eaten.

Mathis said he ultimately left and got his pacemaker through a private physician.

His experience appears to be supported by a report released last month by the Veterans Affairs Inspector General. Investigators found veterans are routinely having to wait months for certain treatments.

For example, five heart patients waited 89-to-138 days for heart monitors. One dialysis patient waited five months for a mapping procedure. No cardiology reviews were performed for 213 requests for heart monitors, and appointments were being scheduled without patient input or preferences.

VA officials defend their facility, but have agreed to fix the problems found in the report by hiring more doctors and increasing staff training.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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