By Brett Gillin
You’ve probably heard the jokes a thousand times. The ones about how long patients are left in waiting rooms and consulting rooms while they wait for the doctor to come help them. But the story of Jeffrey Duck, a United States Marine Veteran who recently visited a VA clinic in Florida, is no joke. He was not only left waiting in a consulting room for more than three hours, but he soon found out that he was completely forgotten by staff.
Duck told reporters from Local 6 that he went to the VA clinic in Orange City Florida as a walk in patient on Monday. He arrived at 1:00 pm, and began what would turn out to be an extraordinarily long wait. He told reporters that once he was admitted and moved into a consultation room, he sat patiently for more than three hours, waiting for the doctor or a nurse to open the door to begin the examination.
The door never opened, so Duck decided to peek his head out to see what the holdup was. When the Marine veteran opened the door, he realized that not only was there no doctor or nurse coming to see him, there was actually no employees whatsoever in the building.
“I was apparently left there and forgotten,” Duck told reporters.
So Duck tried to leave the clinic, but noticed that he was locked in. According to reports from Fox News, Duck began getting worried that he would be seen as a criminal, rather than a victim. He was afraid that he might be accused of trying to steal something from the clinic, so he grabbed his cell phone and began recording video of himself as he walked around the lobby.
While he was recording his movements around the clinic, Duck set off motion detectors and alarms started blaring. So Duck decided to dial 911 to let them know what happened.
“I apparently got left in a VA facility – a medical facility – and the alarm has been going off,” Duck told the 911 operator. The operator then asked “So, you’re inside and there’s no employees?” Duck told them that he couldn’t see any.
After the fiasco, The Veterans Administration officially apologized saying “we want to apologize to Mr. Duck for his experience yesterday at the Orange City VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic. We are looking at our closing procedures and will make changes to ensure that this does not happen again.”
For his part, Duck is taking it in stride. “I’m kind of disappointed; really disappointed,” he told reporters. “There’s a lot going on with the VA right now, they’re all over the news. Everybody knows what’s going on with them.”