August 9, 2017
Nearly 1,000 veterans seeking treatment at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center for their heart conditions faced multiple canceled appointments and delayed care, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency’s Office of Inspector General.
Investigators attributed the delays to “unexpected staff departures and challenges in recruiting cardiologists,” along with inadequate training and supervision of schedulers.
The probe examined 32,000 cardiology appointments from Oct. 1, 2014, to Feb. 26, 2016, finding that about 15 percent were canceled. That’s higher than the Department of Veterans Affairs’ national average of 11 percent.
David Knapp, co-chair of the Palm Beach County Veterans Committee, said he has heard mixed reviews about VA services in South Florida.
Knapp, 64, a Vietnam veteran living in West Palm Beach, said he uses the VA system exclusively to treat his diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues. He said he has been pleased with the care he has received.
“You are going to hear good and bad," he said. “That’s unfortunately the way it goes. That VA takes care of a lot of people, and that VA was not built to handle the number of veterans that come through there.”
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