The doctor will see you … eventually

Yesterday, VA Hospitals’ Inspector General released an interim investigative report on patient wait times.



Here are the headline findings …


According to the WSJ: “In 2011, the VA revamped its targets for the time patients must wait to be seen, setting a target for 14 days between when a patient requests an appointment and when that patient is seen.”

The IG found that only 14% of patients were being seen within the 14-day performance standard.

More broadly, the hospitals have been reporting average wait times of 24 days for appointments … a 70% miss against the performance metric.

That’s bad enough, but …

The IG found patient wait times were actually some three months longer, averaging 115 days.

That’s almost 4 months !

Think about that.

How would you feel if you had to wait 4 months to get an appointment to see a doctor?

Based on a personal experience of mine, you might want to get used to the feeling.

Last year I needed to see an eye surgeon … I got an appointment “any day next week”.

This year I called for appointment … same doctor.

Answer: “First available appoint is in 8 weeks … want it?”

Just an early glimpse of government-run healthcare


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