100+ Vets at Hampton VA have 90-day or longer waits to get appointments

by 13News Now & USA Today

WVEC.com

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 15 at 7:18 PM

HAMPTON --  The Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center is one of several VA centers who are being reviewed for having wait times deemed too long for veterans to receive a general care appointment.

Nationally, almost 35,000 veterans have had to wait more than 90 days to get an appointment, as of July 15th. At the Hampton VA, 108 veterans fall into that category.  The average wait time at the Hampton VA is close to 40 days, though that number is a huge improvement from a couple of months ago when the wait time was almost 58 days on average.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner toured the Hampton V.A. Medical center Friday, and met with the facility's leaders.

"It's inexcusable here are still numbers of people waiting more than i90 days to get a primary care appointment," he said. "Now, the numbers have come down dramatically. that's good news. Still, waiting more than 90 days, 120 days, if you're a veteran is inexcusable."

Warner said he was puzzled by the metrics used by Hampton v.A. personnel to calculate waiting times. "I think there's been some progress made but I've got to tell you, the data systems of measurement are completely confusing," he said.

Warner said that now that the congress has passed and the president has signed the $16.3 billion V.A. bill, and the new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is on board, that the time for excuses is over, and improvements better come quickly at the V.A. But he said that might not be easy, noting, "I think there's still cultural systematic problems at the national V.A."

His visit comes two weeks after an internal audit at the Hampton V.A. Medical Center showed that 15 percent of employees who responded to the survey said they had been instructed by supervisors to falsify data related to patient wait times.

Click below to learn more about wait times at the Hampton VA and other VA centers nationwide.

 

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