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Honolulu VA improves wait times; still worst in nation

By Dan Nakaso

LAST UPDATED: 4:44 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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