Mar 4, 2013 7:57 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Veterans Concerned Over VA Clinic's Lease

Veterans in Acadiana are concerned about their medical clinic in Lafayette, and want to know if Veterans Affairs will extend its lease with the city.

The lease is up in november, and veterans are worried that if it's not extended, they won't have a nearby clinic to receive medical treatment.

"The lease of that clinic is due to expire on November 13th of this year, and if it is not extended then they'll be a problem with veterans having coverage here," Thomas Grote, Veteran's Action Coalition of South Louisiana, said.

"We're in the middle of the medical center of Southwest Louisiana here. And we do have the ability to take care of our veterans if we could just get the VA to cooperate," John Palminter, Veteran's Action Coalition of South Louisiana, said.

Grote says the city has told veterans that there's no problem to extend the lease.

"So now the monkey is on the VA's back to make sure they do what they need to do to extend the lease for us," Grote said.

Veterans Affairs says maintaining a clinic in Lafayette is the goal.

"Alexandria VA's Purchasing and Contracting Section will be working with the Lafayette consolidated government to see what options we have to continue in our current location," Tammie Arnold, Public Affairs Officer, Alexandria VA Health Care System said.

Veterans Affairs says it's also waiting to see if congress authorizes expansion for a larger clinic in Lafayette. Representative Charles Boustany introduced the legislation on Friday.

"That's still at best 18 months, 2 years away, if not longer. But even more pressing is the fact that we don't want the existing building to be shut down because of negligence on the part of the VA," Grote said.



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