I am sure that there have been many veterans who have experienced long wait times for medical care at the VA. But long waits for medical appointments are not endemic to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I am a veteran and retired. I do not use the VA because I have excellent medical insurance and I am fortunate that I can seek medical care anywhere. My experience in the private sector is probably not much different than many VA patients.

For example, last year I was in bad shape and needed the services of a specialist. I called over 25 specialists in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area and the soonest I could get an appointment was five weeks out.

Today, I needed to go to a specific clinic and was given an appointment date of Sept. 16. That is three-and-a-half months out.

The real issue is the lack of medical professionals. The VA is short some 30,000 medical staff nationwide. The private sector is also alarmingly short of medical professionals. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Richard Hunt, Payson

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