Springs VA clinic one of the worst in the country for wait times

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PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic at Colorado Springs - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic at Colorado Springs

Despite consolidating medical services for military veterans into a shiny new building, the Lindstrom Outpatient Clinic "ranks near the bottom nationwide at getting them in for health care within 30 days, according to government data," reports the Associated Press.
More than 10 percent of the appointments at the clinic from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28 took at least 31 days to schedule, missing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ timeliness goal. That was the highest in the state and the 12th-worst out of 940 veterans outpatient clinics and hospitals reviewed nationwide. ...

“It’s a chaotic mess,” said 69-year-old Kenneth Thibodeau of Colorado Springs, a Vietnam-era veteran who gets VA treatment for diabetes, blindness and an amputated leg.

He said he likes the care he gets from the VA – when he can get it.

“I think the scheduling part of it is the biggest problem right now,” said Thibodeau, deputy chaplain for the Colorado American Legion. “When I make an appointment or something, I get a phone call the day before saying they have to reschedule, and you don’t get a reason.”
The Gazette talked to 39-year-old Air Force veteran Ken Ulin, who said he had experienced such a hard time obtaining medical help he "tried to overdose right in front of my psychiatrist at the VA," the paper quoted him as saying. "That didn't work out well. But I wanted to get their attention."

One of the problems cited by the VA in the daily newspaper's report is one that's not going to change any time soon: "We have baby boomers as docs," said Denver VA spokesman Dan Warvi by way of explaining physician shortages, "and they are all retiring at the same time."

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