McGuire VA Medical Center questions report on new patient wait times

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RICHMOND, Va. - Representatives from McGuire VA Medical Center answered questions Tuesday about a recent VA Audit report that indicated the Richmond hospital ranked 10th in the country in terms of the longest wait times for veterans seeking medical care.

The report indicated veterans wait more than 70 days before they are able to see a doctors at McGuire VA Medical Center. That number is far more than the 14-day target set by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"This was internal data the VA used to benchmark and with that data is how you improve," McGuire spokeswoman Darlene Edwards said. "Our number today would be significantly less than that, we would be in the 30-some day [wait] for primary care new people seeking an appointment."

Last year McGuire took care of 55,000 patients and handled more than 550,000 outpatient, she added.

"Every year we've been increasing by 5 percent, we're growing, that [growth is anticipated to be] over 10 percent in the coming years," she said.