(WMC ) – President Obama authorized a multi-billion dollar measure that will allow veterans to visit doctors outside of the Veterans Affairs Department hospital.
The money comes within months of investigations being launched after reports that veterans died as they waited for doctor appointments; employees are accused of covering up those delays.
"It will make things go faster and will like reach out more for the veterans that is in more of a need," veteran David Lee Fitzpatrick said of the new measure.
It will also allow the VA to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at its hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the country.
The measure comes on the heels of a national scandal where veterans' hospitals were blamed for delays in giving care that may have resulted in death.
"I think it's a great idea. They're just overloaded here. I've been waiting about three months trying to get an MRI on my knee, so I think it's a great idea to be able to send veterans to outside facilities and get their health concerns addressed.," veteran Ronald Bowman said.
Mid-South vets like Ronald Bowman say the new bill is a step in the right direction.
"And, it's a lot of veterans that have illnesses that really need attention now and I think it's a step forward," Bowman added.
The new law also makes it easier for officials to dismiss VA employees who are not doing their jobs. It will protect the rights of whistleblowers who point out the system's shortcomings.