A new interim report from the Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs confirms that veterans are being forced to wait an average of 115 days for care in a Phoenix Veterans Health Care facility – confirming media reports of a scandal in the department.
According to the report, 1,700 veterans who sought care were excluded from the electronic waiting list – hiding the average wait time for patients served by the facility.
The report also notes that more than 3,000 military veterans are waiting for an appointment with a primary care physician in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs system.
A statistical sample review of 226 veterans showed that they waited on average 115 days for their first primary care appointments. About 84 percent were discovered waiting more than 14 days – the required waiting limit set by Veterans Affairs for care.
The preliminary report confirms the allegations of delayed care but cautions that a full investigation is need before the office can conclude that 40 veterans died as a result of their delayed care at the the Phoenix facility.
The final report is expected to be released in August.
The report also notes that during the investigation the IG office received numerous allegations of sexual harassment and bullying behavior from mid- and senior-level managers.
Griffin recommends that the Department of Veterans Affairs further investigate the allegations in the department as well as offer immediate care to veterans still waiting for their first appointments.
Read the full report here.