Veterans Administration officials confirmed on Thursday that a veteran died earlier this week after collapsing in a Albuquerque VA hospital cafeteria and waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

According to the Associated Press, the cafeteria at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center at Kirtland Air Force Base is just 500 yards from the emergency room—yet on Monday it took dispatchers half an hour to send an ambulance from the ER to the building next door.

To put it another way, 500 yards is a leisurely five-minute stroll.


A VA spokesperson says that Kirtland Air Force Medical Group personnel performed CPR on the unidentified man until the ambulance arrived. The spokesperson added that the hospital's 911 policy is "under expedited review."

Vietnam War veteran Lorenzo Calbert, who was at the hospital at the time, told the AP there was no reason for his fellow veteran to die in that manner.

"They could have put him on the gurney and run faster than that ambulance," said Calbert.