VA Audit: El Paso has some of the longest wait times in the nation
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — A long awaited audit of VA medical facilities was released Monday, and it details several troubling findings.
Among them, more than 57,000 U.S. Military veterans have been waiting 90 days of more for their first VA medical appointments. An additional 64,000 appear to have fallen through the cracks, meaning they never received appointments after enrolling.
Veterans here in El paso seeking care face some of the longest wait times in the entire nation.
That's also according to the audit released today. The report says new patients wait an average of 60 days to see a health care provider at the El Paso VA. Only three smaller clinics in the system have longer wait times.
Also, established patients wait an average of 16 days in el paso to get a mental health appointment. That's by far the longest wait in the nation.
"I'm grateful the VA is now finally admitting they have a problem. As recently as a couple of months ago they told us the average wait time for an appointment was zero days meaning they got it the same day as they requested it," said Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke, as he reacted to the study's findings.
El Paso's VA sent us a statement this afternoon saying in part they are contacting and scheduling all veterans who are waiting for care and are working on improving wait times and expanding access of care.