Local Viewpoints
10:12 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Pearce: New Survey Shows Variations In VA Wait Times

  Congressman Steve Pearce has released a survey of New Mexico veterans that shows differences in reported wait times at VA Health Care facilities, when compared to data released last week by the Veterans Administration. In an ongoing effort to shed light on the problem facing veterans in New Mexico and continue the dialogue, Pearce released this statement.

“This survey shows that the Veterans Administration is not providing the public with realistic data. Veterans in New Mexico are waiting longer for appointments than the federal audit shows,” said Congressman Steve Pearce. “Administrators at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center could not verify the data in the internal VA audit. With recent allegations of long waits and service failures, I wanted real answers. We need transparency and open dialogue with the VA, not more misinformation.”

“These numbers show that 46 percent of veterans strongly disapprove of the VA’s handling of veterans’ health care,” Pearce continued. “Another 58 percent said they would support a voucher system that would allow them to see a doctor at a non-VA facility. To the VA’s credit, 58 percent said they received good or better quality of care.  I look forward to continuing discussions with the Albuquerque VA Medical Center to find solutions to this situation.”

The survey, conducted by BWD Global, found that 24 percent of veterans had to wait longer than 30 days for a non-emergency appointment. Another 6 percent were not able to get an appointment at all. Also, 14 percent indicated it took 30 to 90 days to schedule their first appointment. And, 7 percent said it took longer than 90 days.