Idaho Veterans Face Long Waits For Specialty Medical Care

Apr 9, 2015

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Patients seeking care at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Boise have some of the longest waits for care in the entire VA system according to government data reviewed by The Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistics show that about 1 in every 16 patients seeking care during a six-month period at the Boise facility had to wait 31 days or longer. That compares to a national average of about 1 in 36 patients.

During that time period there were more patients waiting three months or longer for care in Boise than there were in 45 states.

Boise facility associate director Grant Ragsdale says patients seeking routine medical or mental health care are nearly always seen in two days or less. But the facility struggles to hire specialists, leading to the delays.