Utah VA hospital has top 10 longest wait time

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — New patients seeking care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City waited 73 days on average for care, one the top 10 longest average wait times in the country.

A report released by the Veterans Affairs Department on Monday also says there are 447 patients who had to wait more than 90 days for an initial medical appointment at the Salt Lake City VA hospital.

The report is the first nationwide look at the VA system after reports of patients dying while awaiting appointments at the Phoenix VA center. The audit looked at 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics across the country.

The report shows 92 percent of all appointments in Salt Lake City are scheduled within 30 days. Another 8 percent, or 2,319 appointments, took more than 30 days to schedule.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.