SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs clinic in Salem, Oregon, is plagued with long wait times for new patients.
The Statesman Journal reports the average delay to see a primary care doctor is 67 days, according to agency data.
It’s the second-worst in Oregon and much longer than most Portland-area VA clinics, where wait times average less than a month.
For veterans who move to the Salem area after starting VA treatment elsewhere, the wait is worse and can sometimes be years.
More than 1,100 veterans are caught in this limbo – living in or near Salem and still waiting to see a Salem VA physician because they were assigned doctors elsewhere in the Northwest.
VA officials acknowledge the long waits are embarrassing and attribute it to difficulty in recruiting doctors to the Salem clinic.