The Veterans Affairs Department says an audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics found that more than 57,000 patients still are awaiting initial medical appointments 90 days or more after requesting them. An additional 64,000 who enrolled in the VA system over the past decade have never had appointments. The audit found that the VA's complicated appointment process created confusion among scheduling clerks and supervisors.
Here's a look at numbers in those categories for five VA sites in Illinois: Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital west of Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Marion VA Medical Center and the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.
—New patients who requested appointments in the past decade for whom an appointment had not been scheduled as of June 2: Hines 140, Jesse Brown 64, Danville 122, Marion 494, Lovell 53.
—Patients still awaiting medical appointments 90 days or more after requesting them: None listed for Hines, Jesse Brown 1, Danville 19, Marion 3, Lovell 50.
—Patients who waited more than 120 days for an appointment: None listed for any of the Illinois sites.
—Total appointments scheduled, reflecting caseload: Hines 53,645, Jesse Brown 32,213, Danville 19,150, Marion 27,300, Lovell 10,688.