Nearly 770 new patients at the Miami VA Healthcare System have waited more than 90 days to see a doctor, according to WFOR-CBS 4 News — some of the more than 8,500new patients that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday have waited three months or longer for initial appointments at six VA hospitals and clinics in Florida.
In an audit report issued Monday, the VA said the longest waits in Florida were at the Gainesville facility, where more than 1,200 new patients have waited more than 90 days for treatment. Nationally, more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting 90 days or more for their first VA medical appointments — information that was supplied only after reports emerged that some veterans may be dying while waiting for healthcare.
The VA’s goal is for first-time patients to see a doctor in 14 days — a target that the audit deemed “not attainable” due to poor planning and veterans’ growing demand for healthcare.
Of the six VA facilities cited for further review and investigation in the region that includes Florida, three were in the Sunshine State: Gainesville, Bay Pines and Lake City.
At the Miami VA, many new patients have waited longer than three months for their first appointment with a doctor, according to CBS 4, which obtained information gathered during an internal review of the Miami VA showing there were 769 new patients waiting more than 90 days for care.