Outgoing director says access is better at St. Louis VA, but needs to be monitored
(St. Louis Public Radio)
The VA St. Louis Health Care System has cut the waiting time for appointments in recent months, but the improvement is “fragile,” says Patricia Ten Haaf, who is leaving the agency after serving as its acting director since May.
“As of the beginning of December, our average wait times for primary care, mental health care and specialty care are all five days or under,’’ she said. “That means, when you, as a veteran, need access to our health care, and your provider and you mutually identify a time frame that you need follow-up care — maybe they’ll say come back in 60 days — within a five-day range of time, we’ll have an appointment for you. That’s on average.”
Ten Haaf said that timely access for veterans must remain the top priority at the St. Louis VA.