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California VA hospitals reviewed as part of national audit

Having access to health care is an essential part of many people’s well-being. For veterans who live in San Diego and throughout California, there are a number of military hospitals that provide care. However, several such facilities across the country have come under fire recently for medical malpractice. A nationwide audit recently reviewed the hospitals that the Department of Veterans Affairs runs.

On a national level, investigators found that VA facilities had scheduling issues with more than 57,000 military members. Many of California’s clinics did well as a result of the audits. In Coachella Valley, for example, there are roughly 30,000 veterans. The local VA clinic there has received high marks for its level of care from several veterans.

One clinic that is part of the San Diego VA system did come under scrutiny as a result of the audit. Nationwide, new patients wait an average of 44 days for an appointment. The San Diego VA’s wait time is right on par with the national average, and the average wait at the Long Beach VA is only 34 days. New patients at the Greater Los Angeles VA, however, have an average wait time of 56 days. Reports that veterans died while waiting for care from VA hospitals in Phoenix sparked the investigation into the access veterans have to care.

It is important that veterans and civilians alike get the medical care they need when they need it. If a medical error occurs, either with scheduling, diagnosing or treating a patient, it is important to seek legal assistance and pursue the possibility of a malpractice lawsuit. When negligence causes further illness or death, the responsible parties should be brought to justice.

Source: The Desert Sun, “Southern California veterans do OK in audit,” Denise Goolsby, June 11, 2014 

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