AP — Long waits for medical care persist for thousands of veterans at Illinois VA hospitals despite efforts to hire more doctors, open more clinics and allow some patients to instead see private practice physicians.
An Associated Press review of government data found that nearly 20,000 medical appointments completed at the state’s five major Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical centers from September through February failed to meet the health system’s timeliness goal, which calls for patients to be seen within 30 days.
Sixty-one percent of those delayed appointments were scheduled at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital outside Chicago. The hospital’s long-time director retired in October amid allegations of misconduct at the facility.
The AP examined waiting times at 940 VA hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide.