EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWait Times At VA Hospitals Spark Controversy
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dan Matics
Reported: Jun. 16, 2014 8:47 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 16, 2014 9:04 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
The investigation into our nation's Department of Veterans Affairs continues.
A national audit of our country's VA system sheds some light on just how long veterans have to wait for a primary care doctor.
According to a report released on the VA’s website, across the country only one VA center meets the government's recommendation that vets wait two weeks or less to see a doctor.
Meanwhile, the average wait time at the VA center in Huntington is 29 days.
Vietnam veteran Doug Deaton said he had to wait much longer.
"I waited four years for my primary care provider,” Deaton said.
The average wait time at the Huntington’s VA Hospital is the lowest in the state. In Clarksburg, the center averages a 54-day wait time.
Officials at the VA hospital in Huntington declined Eyewitness News’ request for an on camera interview but did release this statement, in part:
"The Huntington VA medical center's goal is to be staffed at a level that allows us to provide every patient with an appointment according to their desired date," Debbie Brammer, Huntington VA spokeswoman, said.
While some complain the wait is too long, not every patient is disappointed in the care they get from the Huntington VA.
Willson Stowers fought in World War II. He goes to the Huntington VA and said there is virtually no wait.
"It’s been excellent care, Stowers said. “I have no complaints about the place."
The Huntington VA said it is increasing staffing and clinic hours following the release of this national audit.
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