Valley VA system not targeted in federal probe - 8 News NOW

Valley VA system not targeted in federal probe

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LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas valley’s Veterans Affairs hospitals are not believed to be part of a federal investigation over patient deaths, but that does not mean the hospitals are free of problems.

A recent report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Healthcare Inspection shows wait-times at the valley’s VA hospital are unacceptable. In one case, a woman waited five hours to see an emergency care doctor.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (Nevada-D) asked the agency to look into this matter.

She said in a statement to 8 News NOW, "Our nation's heroes deserve the best care possible. That's why we must hold our VA hospitals to the highest standards."

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada-R) has also addressed the treatment at VA hospitals. Last week, he toured the North Las Vegas facility.

During a Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing last week, Senator Heller said veterans are going elsewhere for medical treatment because of the long wait times.

“The (inspector general) also found that a quarter of veterans in the emergency room wait over six hours before receiving care. Furthermore, a Las Vegas veteran wrote to me that he went for care elsewhere, because the wait time for an appointment at the VA was more than two months.”

According to the report, federal guidelines state VA hospitals must categorize patients on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the most urgent.

The rules, however, do not specify a time frame in which a patient needs to be seen by a medical professional.

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