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Audit finds 525 Wisconsin veterans waiting at least 3 months to get VA care

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new federal audit released Monday showed that 525 veterans have been waiting 90 days or longer for medical appointments at Wisconsin's three VA hospitals.  

Also, an additional 405 vets who enrolled for VA care in the Badger State over the last decade had never been seen by a doctor.  

The numbers are small compared to the nationwide figures in the new audit -- 57,000 veterans waiting at least three months for a VA appointment, and 64,000 who enrolled for Veterans Administration care but were never seen by doctors.  

The audit showed that the VA hospital in Madison had the state's longest delays by far. The average wait there is 51 days for an appointment, three-and-a-half times the VA's 14 day target for waiting periods.  

The average wait was just under 24 days at Milwaukee, and 17 days for the VA medical center in Tomah.  

Monday's audit report represents the first nationwide examination of the VA medical system, in light of reports in April that patients at Phoenix were dying while awaiting appointments -- and delays were covered up there.  

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said the audit uncovered "systematic problems" that need attention now. Gibson said the VA has contacted 50,000 veterans to get them off waiting lists -- and they're in the process of reaching 40,000 other veterans.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)