Washington, D.C.- Tens of thousands of veterans across the country are waiting for treatment from the government. That's according to an internal audit released Monday of more than 700 veterans affairs facilities.
And here in Virginia, some veterans are waiting up to five times longer than the goal set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA guidelines say veterans seeking treatment should be seen within 14 days of their desired date for a primary care appointment. Those guidelines have now been abandoned.
Here's why: instead of 14 days, veterans seeking treatment at the Salem VA Medical Center waited an average of 34 and a half days, according to the audit. In Hampton the average wait time is just under 58 days. And in Richmond, veterans were put on hold for more than 72 days, roughly five times the department's two-week goal.
Also shown in this audit is just how many veterans are waiting for care, more than 57,000 nationwide. And almost 70,000 have reportedly been in the system for the past ten years, but have not been seen for an appointment.
In response to this audit, the Department of Veterans Affairs says their current treatment goals are unattainable given existing resources and growing demand for care. The department also announced it is scrapping performance bonuses for all senior management in 2014.