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Local
New patients experience long delays at Okla. VA
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New patients experience long delays at Okla. VA

New patients experience long delays at Okla. VA
Photo Credit: Courtesy: Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard
Soldier with the 1245th Transportation Company

New patients experience long delays at Okla. VA

(MUSKOGEE, Okla.) -  Investigators with the Department of Veterans Affairs were in Oklahoma last month talking to workers at the VA.

The feds found that new patients wait between 31 to 44 days before they’re able to get in to see a doctor.

That’s not as bad as some other states, but still not even close to what was once a 14 day goal.

The numbers were released in an audit by the Department of Veterans Affairs Monday.

The report shows that 464 new patients at the facilities in Oklahoma City and Muskogee waited more than 60 days for an appointment.

VA workers weren’t required to talk to investigators. The audit says, “Employees indicating reluctance to participate in the survey due to fear they would be subject to disciplinary action due to deviation from national policy.”

Workers at 90 sites nationwide told federal investigators they had altered dates. In most cases, they were instructed by supervisors.

The audit also found that established patients at both care centers had waits averaging just over two days to be seen.

Spokeswomen at the Muskogee and Oklahoma City hospitals said they were still examining the state-specific data and did not immediately comment on the numbers.

The nationwide audit covered 731 sites and involved interviews with nearly 3,800 clinic staff and administrators to determine how long veterans had to wait to receive care.

 

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