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Honolulu VA improves wait times; still worst in nation

By Dan Nakaso

LAST UPDATED: 04:44 p.m. HST, Jun 20, 2014

Veterans Affairs in Honolulu cut the number of days that new patients have to wait for their first appointment this month by more than two weeks, but still suffered the longest delays in the entire VA system, according to data released Friday.

On May 15, in the midst of a nationwide scandal, the VA reported that Hawaii veterans waited an average of 145 days for their first appointment with a primary care physician.

But by June 1, the Hawaii VA had reduced the wait time to 130 days, according to the new nationwide VA data.

Local VA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wayne Pfeffer, the director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, said Monday that he hopes to dramatically reduce the wait time for new patients to just 30 days within the next three months.

On Friday Pfeffer said, "It's very exciting. It looks like our plans are coming together nicely."

No other VA facility on June 1 had wait times for new patients longer than 100 days, according to the data.

After Honolulu, the next worst facility for new patient delays was Fayetteville, N.C., with a wait time of 91 days.

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droid wrote:
Wow, they cut the wait time by a whole 15 days... out of 145! I bet Wayne Pfeiffer got a fat bonus.
on June 20,2014 | 10:25AM
Sharkey1775 wrote:
Over $80K since 2007.


on June 20,2014 | 01:53PM
1coconut wrote:
Who in their right mind thinks this is progress. Just think 4 months wait just to see a doctor. Shut down the entire VA health program and privatize it. Saves lives, misery and money. Other wise nothing will change.
on June 20,2014 | 10:39AM
fiveo wrote:
Fire Wayne Pfeffer along with his underlings who also knew about the wait times and did nothing. These people cannot be trusted to do the right thing. Make some minor changes and wait for things to blow over and then back to business as usual.
on June 20,2014 | 10:57AM
Skyler wrote:
Longest wait times in the country for Veterans to see a primary care physician & Pfeffer was ok with that... until all he|| broke loose.
on June 20,2014 | 11:06AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Now, how did they do that in just a few days? My guess is they are fudging the dates again. They need to eliminate that "bonus system", eliminate all those people who created the mess, and use the resulting salary savings to hire a few more doctors. Oh, and in 3 months, Pfeffer's high salaried position will be eliminated too.
on June 20,2014 | 11:09AM
nitpikker wrote:
thousands of heads should be rolling!
on June 20,2014 | 11:14AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
So exactly why should we believe these self-reported wait times now? What has changed to make the VA more honest about these reports in the last couple weeks? I know that just a few months ago I was told that I couldn't be provided a date for an appointment, but that "someone would call" eventually to provide an appointment. Now we know that the whole process was a scam. I'm sure it's not miraculously fixed now.
on June 20,2014 | 12:17PM
Workingrl wrote:
A wait of of 130 days to see a primary care doctor is not right. That's more than four months and a patients condition could worsen for lack of timely medical care.
on June 20,2014 | 12:27PM
RandolphW wrote:
Just more hot air from the Veterans Administration.
on June 20,2014 | 12:42PM
serious wrote:
Let's admit it. Hawaii is either #1 or #50 in just about every category.
on June 20,2014 | 12:51PM
Sharkey1775 wrote:
Every time I read the line: "It's very exciting. It looks like our plans are coming together nicely.", I hear it in my head as the voice of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers.

At the end of the day, all we can hope is that the other reps work together to get this clown and the other ones who have been there through all of this, out.

I have not seen anything from any of the other offices but "investigate and wait". They follow the media. Hell, I am sure one of two of them read these comments. They know what the situation is locally...but yet they do nothing.

If it takes veterans to start calling their offices demanding that the other reps act, then so be it...because as it stands, we only have one person in our delegation who as stood up and demanded action.

When you have someone who has gone on record saying that they KNEW the numbers were higher, but gave the reps lower numbers, why would you give it a second though?

on June 20,2014 | 02:54PM
false wrote:
How about the wait time for veteran claims that lead the nations as well?
on June 20,2014 | 05:36PM
ctrimarco wrote:
Anyone surprised by this "worst in nation" news either doesn't live here or never lived anywhere else
on June 20,2014 | 09:04PM
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