WASHINGTON (AP) — Patients seeking care through the VA's Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System are waiting an average of 56 days for their first appointment with a primary care doctor — four times longer than the department's goal.
A report from the Department of Veterans Affairs says the average wait time for new patients at other VA hospitals in California ranged from about 25 days in Fresno to about 44 days in Loma Linda.
VA guidelines say veterans should be seen within 14 days of their desired date for a primary care appointment. The department now says that meeting that target was unattainable given existing resources and growing demand.
The findings are part of a national audit ordered after a whistleblower claimed veterans were dying while waiting for care in Phoenix.