Share “Growing number of veterans seeking care...”

Growing number of veterans seeking care cited in delays Oklahoma City VA

An audit showed that new patients seeking primary care waited an average of 44 days for appointments, with new patients seeking specialty care and mental health care at the OKC VA facing similar delays.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: June 11, 2014


photo - 
Daniel Marsh, director of the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, discusses audit information released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs during a news conference Tuesday at the Oklahoma City facility. Photo by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
  Steve Gooch - 
The Oklahoman
Daniel Marsh, director of the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center, discusses audit information released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs during a news conference Tuesday at the Oklahoma City facility. Photo by Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman Steve Gooch - The Oklahoman

A growing number of veterans have sought care at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center over the past few years, pointing to part of the reason that new patients wait an average of 44 days to see a primary care provider at the facility, leaders said Tuesday.

Leaders from the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center called a news conference Tuesday to address concerns related to an audit that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released Monday that focused on wait times in VA facilities across the U.S.

The audit showed that new patients seeking primary care waited an average of 44 days for appointments, with new patients seeking specialty care and mental health care at the OKC VA facing similar delays.

Dr. Mark Huycke, the OKC VA chief of staff, told a group of reporters that the VA has seen clear-cut growth in its patient population, pointing to part of the reason for the delays in care found in the audit.

“We work to keep up with that demand for services, but it’s a constant struggle to add providers, find additional space, (and) hire support staff in order to maintain access to those services, so we’re constantly working on this, but as we grow, we have to keep adding and adding,” Huycke said.

More than an estimated 58,000 patients will seek care during the 2014 fiscal year at either the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center or other veterans health centers within the Oklahoma City VA network, which includes facilities across western Oklahoma and two counties in north Texas, according to data released Tuesday.

That’s an increase from the 2011 fiscal year when about 54,000 patients sought care through that network.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    'La Bamba' Star Elizabeth Pena Died from Alcohol Abuse
  2. 2
    Texas’ Joe Wickline suing Oklahoma State
  3. 3
    Father who reportedly gave children prescription drugs jailed on neglect charge
  4. 4
    OU football: DeMarco Murray purchased iMacs for the Dallas Cowboys offensive line
  5. 5
    26 Percent Of Young Women Report That They Have Been Stalked Online
+ show more