Lake Charles VA clinic approved by Congress. - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Lake Charles VA clinic approved by Congress.

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Congress resoundingly passed a bill that could pave the way for a VA clinic in Lake Charles.

Public Affairs Officer for the Alexandria VA Health Care System Tammie Arnold said the current mobile clinic sees about twelve patients a day, with one team of physicians.

Arnold added the new center would allow for six times the amount in primary care physicians six times the patient care.

Once the bill is signed into law, Arnold says within six months a contract will be awarded for a permanent location. After that, Arnold said it will take six months to renovate the location.

The current mobile clinic is one that James A Jackson, a past state commander in the Louisiana American Legion, said couldn't handle the number of veterans in the Lake Charles, but could take great care of each individual veteran.

"The doctor the nurse the people that work in the clinic are very good. They've been really excellent treating me, and I don't know anyone who has had any trouble with the care in the mobile clinic," Jackson said.

There isn't any official word on where crews will build the new center. The new center would allow for an expansion of services. Arnold said additional care would include mental health professionals and dieticians.

Local Iraq War veteran Todd Chapman said he will be happy not to have to take off to take care of his health.

"I may have been in school, or missing time off of work, and there's no compensation for your time spent traveling," Chapman said.

Representatives from Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator David Vitter, and Representative Charles Boustany, Jr. said they would work to make sure the clinic timeline remains the same. President Obama has not yet signed the bill but is expected to sign it on Thursday.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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