When the nation has a problem, NYC seldom remains unscathed. But Veterans Affairs medical facilities in the city have fortunately been untouched by the scandal of long waits for appointments and data manipulation to hide the problem that rocked the federal agency last year.
Veterans here have had few if any problems getting appointments, according to data on wait times from the VA, and an Associated Press study of 940 VA hospitals and clinics across the nation from September through February. At each of the eight major VA medical facilities in the city, fewer than 1 in 10 veterans waited more than 30 days to be seen. That's better than VA centers and clinics in most areas of the country, according to the AP.
For instance, 99% of those seeking care at the VA clinic on 125th Street in Harlem were seen within 30 days. And that was the low-water mark. At the Flatbush Avenue Extension VA Clinic in Brooklyn, every single person seeking care was seen within the 30-day window, which is the department's goal.
Doctor shortages were the core problem VA officials pointed to nationally in the wake of the scandal uncovered last year in which workers falsified waiting lists while about 100,000 veterans waited more than 90 days to see a doctor. A shortage of medical staff apparently was not a problem at facilities in NYC, where veterans are getting the timely access to doctors they deserve.