Veterans Continue to Face Delays for Appointments for VA Health Care

Veterans Continue to Face Delays for Appointments for VA Health Care

March 17, 2015

Veterans Continue to Face Delays for Appointments for VA Health Care

Internal documents from the Los Angeles VA show that veterans continue to face delays in receiving appointments for health care. Some of the military veterans seeking an appointment are waiting up to a year to be seen by a VA doctor.

This report shows that promised changes as a result of the scandal which embroiled the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs don't seem to be working. And once again, it looks like VA officials are trying to hide wait times and mislead Congress and veterans as to what is really going on.

Just last month, according to the CNN report, "...the VA's acting director for the Western region overseeing the Los Angeles VA told Congress that veterans who are new patients there only have to wait a few days for appointments."

The records and witnesses say that this information is absolutely not true.

CNN reported that, "According to the Los Angeles VA's documents dated January 15, the actual average wait time for new patients at the VA was 48 days. A half-dozen medical and administrative sources inside the LA VA system corroborate these waits."

Veterans Wait for Mental Health Appointments

The issue of veterans suicide is one that Americans have seen in the news a lot recently. From the high number of veterans who commit suicide each day to the new Clay Hunt Anti-Suicide law, the mental health of our veterans is a topic that is finally getting the attention it deserves.

It seems that CNN also uncovered issues in wait times for veterans seeking mental health appointments with the VA also. During the same congressional hearing where Dr. Skye McDougall misrepresented wait times for new appointments with a doctor, he also misrepresented the amount of time a veteran must wait for a mental health appointment.

The CNN report reads, "Asked how long the wait time is for mental health at the Los Angeles VA, McDougall testified that the same number -- a four days' wait for new patients -- applies for mental health."

Once again, according to internal records and statments from sources inside the VA, four-day wait times were false. new mental health patients in Los Angeles are waiting an average 36 days just to get an appointment.

Last fall, Congress passed a new law due to the VA scandal. The law was created to ensure our military veterans received health care and mental health care more quickly and more efficiently. Congress also approved $16 billion to help the VA improve its health care deliver with more doctors, nurses and to build more facilities. Unfortunately, it looks like these efforts are not working.

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3 Responses

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