Jacksonville Navy Veteran upset with VA Health Care after being denied referral for needed help

JACKSONVILLE, Fl — Hobart Williams served nine years in the United States Navy; part of his tour was onboard the USS Forrestal, an aircraft carrier, now he sits at home in pain.


Williams,69, is living with a number of ailments.


“I have asbestos infusion in the lower part of my lung and PTSD,” he said. 


Williams said on August 13th, he was rushed to a Jacksonville area emergency room. 


“I went to the emergency room with severe back pain and passing blood,” he said. The diagnosis was more health problems.


“I was diagnosed with kidney stones,” said Williams, “and problems with my kidneys.”


The size of his kidney stone is 4 x 6 millimeters.  Four days after his first visit to the ER he was back, trying to see a Urologist. He now has stents in his kidneys.


“I can’t see who I need to see,” he said, ” I need to see a specialist.”


The veteran receives his health care from the VA Health Care System but said he was told the earliest he could see a specialist is six weeks. So he turned to VA Choice.


“I called to get a referral from the VA,” he said. 


It was a request to see a private physician, but Williams said this week the VA denied his request. 


“I am extremely disappointed in the VA,” he said.


Williams said he reached out to his patient advocate but did not get the help he expected. The Vietnam Veteran said  the VA has made a number of promises to veterans and it is time to keep them


“They just need to step up,” he said.


He said his biggest fear is that if he doesn’t get a referral soon, his health will only get progressively worse.


“I don’t know what is going to happen to me. My kidneys may start failing,” he said.


He has made visits to a urologist, but it was at his expense. He is hoping the VA will soon have a change of heart and help this veteran out.


Privacy laws prevent the VA from discussing specific issues like Williams unless he signs some sort of release form. 


But On Your Side reached out to the VA St. Petersburg, Florida office and a spokesperson has forwarded Williams’ concerns to the proper channel for a speedy resolution.


© 2017 WTLV-TV

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