VA official: Utah vets often wait months for care

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An official from the Utah Veterans Affairs Medical Center says new patients often wait months for care but officials are working to speed the lag time.

On Thursday at the Capitol, associate director Shella Stovall told a military affairs panel the Utah system grapples with complicated, outdated computers.

She says the system is hiring more medical workers and has already added clinic hours.

Stovall contends the Utah system hasn't conducted cover-ups as was reported at an Arizona VA center.

A report released this month shows that new patients wait an average of 73 days for care at Salt Lake City's VA hospital, the ninth worst nationwide.

The national look at the VA system followed April reports of patients dying while awaiting appointments and of cover-ups at an Arizona center.

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