Johnie Adams is one of the many VA patients to complain about a host of issues including long waits and delayed appointments. He said he’s waited up to 8 hours in the emergency room on more than one occasion.
Adams said, “They don’t seem to care, they want you in they want you out. I wouldn’t go to the emergency room for nothing.”
After weeks of notorious accounts of patient neglect, the Oklahoma City VA hospital responded to the release of the national audit.
While the hospital did not address specific cases, they did say the data released from the central office in Washington, D.C. shows that Oklahoma City compares favorably to other like-sized facilities around the country.
Mark Huycke, M.D., Chief of Staff said “The vast majority of these appointments are scheduled within two weeks of the create date or desired date.”
Officials say with about 500 new patients a month the average wait is 43 days for non-urgent care; that number drops to about two days for established patients.
The same report shows 223 Oklahomans had to wait longer than 120 days just to get an appointment.
Some vets say that’s just too long.
Lt. Col. Steve Russell said, “We need to ask why would one location have a very small percentage of new wait times and others would not.”
The leadership team defends its record for patient care.
Huycke said, “We track, at our facility, all of the scheduled appointments beyond 90 days and find that these are all medically appropriately scheduled.”
The findings were from an internal investigation from the VA.
Officials say a firm in the private sector will likely conduct its own review and they say they welcome that evaluation.