Audit shows problems at local VA facility

By Marquel Sennet |

Published 06/10 2014 05:41PM

Updated 06/10 2014 06:30PM

The VA crisis is being called a national emergency. An audit shows long wait times are also happening at facilities in our area.

Four facilities in Louisiana are being investigated, including Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport.

The average wait time is 44 days for new patients seeking a primary care appointment at the medical center. On average new patients wait 47 days for specialty care and 31 days for mental health treatment. Click here to read the report. 

According to the audit where misconduct is confirmed, appropriate personnel actions will promptly be pursued.

Sandy Franks the spokesperson for Overton Brooks says changes started at the facility a couple of months ago. They’ve implemented an afterhours clinic along with a Saturday clinic. They also increased the use of Telehealth for vets in rural communities.

Hearings are being held this week in Washington DC to address this growing scandal. Tuesday the US House passed the Veterans Access to Care Act. They're just waiting on the Senate for approval.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) reacted to reports showing that Louisiana veterans face wait times.

"The VA system is no place for negligence, or in some cases abandonment, and it's completely unacceptable to provide anything but high-quality care for our veterans who served to protect our nation and our freedom," Vitter said. "This audit on wait times just proves the exact sentiments I've heard from veterans across the state, and why I requested this information in a letter to former Secretary Shinseki in May. President Obama and the VA need to take charge, lead, and stop the widespread crisis."

Vitter has also launched a page on his website to hear from veterans who have experienced long wait times. Click here for a link to the page. 

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