CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — An audit released June 9 by the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed long wait time for new patients seeking a primary care doctor across the country
At the Louis A. Johnson VA Center in Clarksburg, the audit claimed the wait time is 54 days. Officials from the facility believe these wait times are inaccurate but are looking into it.
Many politicians in the state have visited the facility to learn more about the situation.
U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., who represents the 1st District met with VA Director Beth Brown and the VA American Federation of Government Employees Local 2384 in search of answers on Monday.
“I was on a hospital board for 28 years and 54 days would not have been acceptable,” McKinley said. “I’ve got to understand how [the Department of Veterans Affiars] came up with 54 days because the hospital is saying that’s not accurate. So, I need to see the metrics, I’ve got to see the model of how they came up with 54.”
He said he learned new information today, but is waiting for more facts before making any judgement.
“If the statistics are correct, we’ve got a problem but they may not be correct. That’s what I want to find out. I’m not going to jump and get excited about it until I get the facts and I can see and understand it from that perspective.”
While McKinley’s research continues, he was encouraged by the officials taking looking into the allegations very seriously.
“The administration here is looking deep into the discrepancies because they dispute the 54 days,” he said. “They’re looking into it harder to understand how that difference could be.”
Ultimately, he said the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki was not going to be the solution to the situation in VA hospitals across the nations. It will take an effort from various organizations and he wants to take the information from the meeting and help the process along.
“We’re going to go back, we’re going to talk to the VA in Washington and try to figure out from the perspective ‘Where is the difference?’ because it all comes down to care for our veterans.
You can read the a list of wait times around the country from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ audit here.