CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The video that Mike Miller took during a visit to the Cleveland VA Medical Center is compelling.
At one point, he narrates, “Twenty-five to 30 minutes since the doctor has known that this urine bottle that is not mine has been in the room.
Other scenes show plastic needle caps on the floor, a black growth along the base of the walls, the underside of a shelf that is impossible to describe and more.
His narration continued.
“There’s somebody’s spit stain or something on the bed that I’m supposed to be in. Stains all down the side of the table. You wonder why our vets get sick,” Miller said.
Miller served two tours in Iraq as a driver and gunner on a light-armored vehicle.
The conditions he saw at the Cleveland VA Medical Center were not all that bothered him: The treatment of vets who became ill during long waits to be seen and were told abruptly to wait your turn. A take it or leave attitude.
He says, “It shows that they kind of feel that way you know what I mean you can’t go anywhere else anyway. You’re going to be here no matter how we treat you. That’s the feeling I got out of that place.”
Make no mistake, his complaints are no indictment of the entire Department of Veterans Affairs system. Mike says he gets excellent care at the Canton VA outpatient clinic where he usually is treated. That’s what made the conditions he witnessed at the Cleveland VA Medical Center so disturbing.
He had enough after 4 hours.
“By the time the doctor came in, I told him they’re not touching me I need to leave.”
Miller says a doctor thanked him for complaining to the patient advocate where he got an apology of sorts.
He was told, “I know I can say it a million times, this is not how we treat our veterans.”
He replied, “Well, I hate to tell you, but I’ve been sitting here for 4 hours and whether you want to believe it or not, this is how you treat your veterans.”
We have been promised a response from the VA. A spokeswoman said she was checking into the claims.