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Garcetti: Greater Los Angeles' VA's Long Wait Time 'Unacceptable'

Monday's nationwide's audit shows VA's Greater Los Angeles' wait time is up to 56 days.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
Posted by Alexander Nguyen

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday it is "unacceptable" that veterans wait up to 56 days for their first appointment through the VA's Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

"It's unacceptable to have those sorts of wait times," Garcetti said.

The 56-day local wait time was revealed in an audit of more than 731 VA hospitals by the Department of Veteran Affairs, which showed more than 57,000 patients wait for their first appointment within the VA's healthcare system for 90 days or more. The VA has a 14-day goal for those appointments.

Donna M. Beiter, director of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, said in a previous statement that the health care system strives to provide the best care possible to veterans, and "we welcome the opportunity for an external set of eyes to look at our scheduling operation and offer recommendations for improvement."

The nationalwide audit released Monday found that the agency's appointment process caused confusion for schedulers, and that the 14-day goal was unattainable because of growing demand for healthcare and due to planning problems.

Garcetti, who was asked about the audit results at a news conference where he unveiled a program that seeks to employ veterans, said there is already plenty of blame being thrown around.

"There's been a failure of leadership and a failure of resources," Garcetti said. "Who gets punished when that happens? Veterans."

The mayor, who is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, said it is time for the Department of Veterans Affairs to come into the 21st century, like other healthcare providers.

"We need to make sure that they have the resources to hire, to have enough people there and better systems for tracking," Garcetti said.

The audit followed reports that veterans left off a waiting list died while waiting for care in Phoenix.

— City News Service

nonoise June 09, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Divine Saviour Catholic church's off key tape recordings are not acceptable. What is the mayor doing about that??? Off key noise is not acceptable. Let me go bang some pans into your home!! See if you like it!!


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