Improving healthcare for veterans in Leeds

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A federal investigation into the VA has made healthcare for veterans a focus in our nation’s capitol. 22News is working for you to explain what the VA Medical Center in Leeds is doing to improve patient care.

The VA is being investigated for allegedly falsifying records and for delayed medical treatment.

Congress wants to draft a bill to improve healthcare by shortening waiting times through the hiring of more doctors and opening 26 more veterans’ medical facilities in 17 states.

Amy Gaskill, the spokesperson for the VA Medical Center in Leeds told 22News they treat about 25,500 Veterans a year and schedule about 300,000 appointments in their six clinic system.

Gaskill said they’ve added more clinic hours and are working to hire more doctors to make the wait even shorter.

“91% of our patients, of our new veterans, are seen within a 14 day period of time. 91% is a really good number of folks that we get in the system. It’s that 9% that we need to make sure we bring in within a timely fashion,” said Gaskill.

Gaskill says some Veterans even get same-day medical care and says they’re in the top 10% nationally in patient satisfaction.

Meanwhile, an audit by the Veteran’s Affairs Department found that more than 57,000 veterans had to wait at least three months for their first appointment.

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