DURHAM (WTVD) -- North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis toured the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital Friday - one day after an Associated Press report that shows that wait times at VA facilities across the country haven't improved much a one year after Americans learned that sick veterans were getting sicker while languishing on waiting lists - and months after the Department of Veterans Affairs instituted major reforms costing billions of dollars.
Tilllis said Friday the lack of improvement is especially concerning in our state where we have so many veterans.
"You've got a state like North Carolina that has one of the fastest growing populations - some 900,000 veterans," said Senator Tillis.
Tillis said there are specific changes he thinks could help wait times - namely more money and better buildings.
"We need more capacity - whether or not that's physical facility - probably some. We've got the VA facility in Fayetteville that's about 70 years old," he said. "There's a basic funding issue. One of the problems that we have that affects scheduling and being able to get appointments is facilities."
Whether the money comes remains to be seen, but Tillis said there is one basic question that needs to be answered.
"How can we best provide care to a veteran in the most warm, accommodating environment possible because we owe it to them," he explained.