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Local VA wait time down, but still over three months

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 01:38 p.m. HST, Jul 03, 2014

The time veterans in Honolulu wait for their first appointment to see a primary care physician has dropped to an average of 109 days from 145 days in mid-May, but the local wait times are still the worst in the nation, new Department of Veterans Affairs data released on Thursday shows.

The next worst wait times are those in Fayetteville, N.C., with 93 days of average wait times.

Wayne Pfeffer, the director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System, said on June 16 that he hoped to dramatically reduce the wait time for new patients to just 30 days within three months.

The VA released its bi-monthly data update on Thursday showing what it said was progress on efforts to accelerate access to health care for veterans who have been waiting for appointments.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson announced that outreach had extended to nearly 140,000 veterans across the country to get them off of wait lists and into clinics for medical appointments.

"In many communities across the country, veterans wait too long for the high quality care they've earned and deserve," Gibson said in a release.

Gibson added that as the VA continues "to address systemic challenges in accessing care, these regular data updates enhance transparency and provide the most immediate information to veterans and the public on improvements to veterans' access to quality health care."

"We are fully committed to fixing the problems we face in order to better serve veterans," he said. "We must restore the public's trust in VA, but more importantly, we must restore the trust of our veterans who depend on us for care."

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
We may need to look at this situation in context, as we look at a lot of life in context in Hawaii. Number one, the physician shortage, number two, the propensity of Hawaii being friendly to people, which makes more veterans want to work or retire here, and three, it just may mean that People in Hawaii want to go to doctors.
on July 3,2014 | 01:09PM
Runningwolf45 wrote:
They lied for years about the wait time so why should I believe their no# now!
on July 3,2014 | 05:53PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Wow, in just a few weeks, the wait time dropped by 36 days. Dropping it down to 30 days will be a near impossibility in 2-1/2 months - Get ready to resign Pfeffer because you won't be able to lie your way out of it this thime.
on July 3,2014 | 01:22PM
nitpikker wrote:
and give back your bonus.
on July 3,2014 | 05:39PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
A 90-day wait mostly means the clinic is hopelessly behind and is incapable of meeting the actual demand. Most people who need care won't wait the 90 days. They'll either pay to go somewhere else or just go without care and won't bother calling again when they need care. Those who wait the 90 days are only the most needy, and they are not a good representration of all those who deserve service from the VA.
on July 3,2014 | 02:40PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Like anything to relieve bottlenecks, maybe one Private Physician takes on one more patient. What's one more patient going to do to the workload of any doctor. My doctor sets the next appointment for me, so I just come in.
on July 3,2014 | 04:19PM
Uncleart66 wrote:
Hawaii taxpayers will spend $81,000 in 2015 on a new government position — fall prevention coordinator, who will teach Hawaii’s senior citizens, well, how not to fall. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, signed House Bill 2053 into law this week, which creates the new fall prevention and early detection coordinator position within the Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention branch.
on July 3,2014 | 02:57PM
false wrote:
VA Matsunaga not only has one of the worst wait times in the nation, but also one of the worst times for claims getting adjudicated! VA has a long way to go!
on July 3,2014 | 05:45PM
false wrote:
Received my new VA ID card today, it's nice and impressive and has a note, "VA Healthcare Enrollee Service Connected." But, I continue to support the removal or resignation of Mr. Pfeffer. It's the only way for the VA in Hawaii can regain its trust by its clients, the veterans.
on July 3,2014 | 05:47PM
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