BALTIMORE - In a news conference Tuesday, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Sloan Gibson, said changes are on the way.
Gibson met with a commission that morning that aims to find the next Under Secretary for Health for the Veterans Health Administration. He says it's the number one job in government right now, and the position would have a greater opportunity for impact than any other job within healthcare.
- Baltimore Veterans Affairs hospital addressing long waiting times
- VA Maryland: Audit 'not surprising'
- Veteran waits three months for appointment that VA says should take about two weeks
- Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigns amid veterans' health care issues
Gibson says he made the trip from D.C. to Baltimore because of the city's long wait times. The average wait time for new patients seeking primary care in Baltimore is around 81 days. But Gibson says looking at average wait times alone is a problem because within those averages are veterans who are waiting much longer.
Acting Secretary Gibson talked about creating a system in which veterans can give real time feedback so the VA can see and deal with issues in a timely manner.
He says five new primary care physicians will be brought on board as soon as possible. This will allow around 6,000 more patients to be seen each year.
The VA is reaching out to veterans on the wait list, giving them options to be seen earlier or been seen by a private practice. So far, most veterans have opted to keep their appointments and stay within the VA system.