New patients seeking care at the Veterans Administration hospital in St. Louis had some of the longest wait times for new patients at any such facility in the nation, according to the results of an audit released on Monday. The average wait at that hospital was 86 days. New patients at the Columbia VA hospital waited an average of more than 66 days, and the wait averages more than 44 days for new patients at the VA hospitals in Kansas City and Poplar Bluff.
The audit revealed more than 1,300 patients who sought care in St. Louis, 188 in Kansas City, 102 in Poplar Bluff and 71 in Columbia have never had appointments.
The audit revealed nationwide 13-percent of schedulers in VA facilities say they were told to falsify documents to make patient wait times appear shorter.
Senator Roy Blunt called the latest report’s findings “appalling.”
“Too many of our veterans in Missouri and across the nation have been denied adequate care for far too long,” Blunt said. “I contacted the VA St. Louis Health Care System for an explanation a month ago, and still haven’t received a response. I’ll continue to press for answers and do everything I can to ensure these heroes receive the care they need and deserve – but it’s time for President Obama to step up and show leadership.”