Veterans waiting nearly a month at Iowa City's VA to get medical - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans waiting nearly a month at Iowa City's VA to get medical care

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Veterans in Iowa City wait nearly a month to get the care they need, according to new data released by national VA officials.

Wait times for veterans are under scrutiny all over the country, but veterans in Iowa City are waiting nearly a week longer for appointments than Des Moines VA.
Jay Kaiser served for 19 months in Vietnam, and has had treatment at the Iowa City VA hospital at least twice a year.

The 67-year-old Vietnam veteran, gets preventative treatment on his heart and dialysis for poor kidney function.

However, when it comes to scheduling appointments, he hasn't had a problem, but that's not the case for his fellow servicemen and women.

"We should be treated a little better than what we're treated," said Kaiser. "Preventative stuff is a lot of what the problem is, if you're in preventative it's easy. It's if you're trying to get worked on that's where it seems to be where all the problem is trying to be."

U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack met with officials Tuesday, at the VA in Iowa City to discuss the process of scheduling appointments and how to ensure veterans receive the timely care they need.

"We've got to stay on top of the issue, that's all there is to it." said Loebsack. "I think what you have with the situation here is that you have a pretty high demand on the system here. The good news is they work work in conjunction with the university of Iowa and they do work with the private sector as well to try to reduce the wait times."

Sandra Horsman, acting director at Iowa City's VA hospital says limited clinical space and the need for more physicians are the major concerns blamed for the long wait times.

Yet she assures that there are systems in place to resolve the issue.

"If we can't get them in, in a reasonable amount of time then we will do whatever we can to get them into the community to meet those needs and a lot of our wait times also depend on when the veteran wants to come in," said Horsman. "That's really out focus, what the veteran wants and when they want to come in."

Meanwhile Kaiser says says he hopes issues like this gets resolved fast.

"We still worry about when we read things, that's not right. "You call them, and then they'll tell you we'll call you back or we'll send you a letter. All of a sudden you wait and wait..."

If you've experienced significantly longer wait times for appointments at the Iowa City VA, the staff recommends that you let them know.

Contact them at 319-338-0581 extension 7244 or extension 4248 or go to their website
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