New VA Healthcare Center opens in Charlotte

- Starting on Friday, veterans in Charlotte have a new place to get their healthcare. A brand new VA Healthcare Center has opened its doors. 

There were several veterans at the location Friday to see the new center open. Those who spoke with FOX 46 said the biggest difference the place will make is having easier access to VA Healthcare, right where they live.

"It’s been a long time since we’ve needed a VA facility like this in Charlotte. It will help a lot of veterans so they don’t have to drive to Salisbury or Winston-Salem. It takes a lot out of them when you get up in age and going for medical help. That’s a long drive up there, so this is great," said Veteran Edison Wilson. 

Charlotte's new VA Healthcare Center will offer pretty much all services - everything from primary care to mental health. 

It does not, however, have an emergency room or inpatient care. 

"We’ve got four full operating rooms where we’ll be doing day surgery here. We’ve got dialysis, physical therapy, and dental services," said Kayne Green, Medical Center director of the Salisburg VA Healthcare system. 

The grand opening comes on the heels of a USA Today report claiming VA supervisors in seven states, including North Carolina, falsified patient wait times. 

FOX 46 asked the VA deputy secretary what he had to say about the allegations. 

“I think the single most important thing about the USA Today article is to understand that was based upon field access audit results that we did across VA back in July and August of 2014. That’s old news," Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of the VA said. 

He said since then, things have changed. 

"The ability to monitor scheduling practices in a remote way, the face-to-face visits by senior leaders across VA with schedulers. All of that has happened in this intervening time," Gibson said. 

The new Charlotte facility is located on Tyvola Road near the airport. Charlotte area transportation has buses that will come to the facility. 

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