No pharmacy at Marina's VA clinic

VA clinic concerns

MARINA, Calif. - When the VA clinic in Marina opened last August, veterans were happy, but now some say the VA is no longer there to serve veterans. It's serving itself.

"That means for the most part, they use the veterans for job security," said Thomas Griffin, Veterans Transition Center board chair.

Veteran Anthony McKinnon was more optimistic.

"The clinic itself is short in a lot of areas. It's just a slow process. I think it will be fixed and there's no doubt in my mind it will be," McKinnon said.

But Army retiree Sid Williams said delays at the clinic are discouraging.

"The cafeteria is not open. The X-ray facilities are not functioning as they are supposed to yet. They've decided not to have a pharmacy. Laboratories are not functioning as they are supposed to yet," Williams said.

The pharmacy is Williams' main concern. Without one in-house, vets have to either get their meds through VA's mail-order pharmacy or pick them up at local drugstores.

This, the VA said, allows it to "shift VA resources in support of the verification and review of prescriptions."

Williams has no problem with that because he is healthy, but he said others do have an issue, such as homeless veterans with no permanent address and those suffering from traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.

"When you are already suffering from these conditions, stress like that can be more difficult for them to manage than it is for the average person," Williams said.

Another group affected by this pharmacy not opening is veterans with physical disabilities.

Williams said the VA offers transportation to the clinic, but when it comes to picking up prescriptions at different local pharmacies, the vets have no means of getting there.


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