66° F
Light Rain
Light Rain

Madison VA hospital wait is worst in state

By Dannika Lewis,
Published On: Jun 09 2014 09:19:46 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 10 2014 07:59:13 AM CDT

According to an audit by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, new VA patients will wait longer to get an appointment at Madison’s hospital than any other in the state.


According to an audit by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, new VA patients will wait longer to get an appointment at Madison’s hospital than any other in the state.

Those numbers show the average wait for new patients seeking primary care at Madison’s facility is almost 51 days. That’s more than double the average wait time for the VA hospitals in Milwaukee and Tomah.

Madison VA Hospital spokesperson Tim Donovan said the data is not a sign of negligence.

“That's largely due to the fact that demand has increased so much over the past six months or so,” Donovan said. “At the same time, our demand for primary care has increased, we've lost a few primary care providers due to retirements and for other reasons.”

Donovan said the hospital is in the process of hiring new doctors and contacting patients to expedite the appointment process.

"This hospital has a very well-deserved reputation for providing excellent care, and we've been doing that all along," Donovan said. "We're doing that today, we'll do that tomorrow, we'll do that into the future. "

Donovan said the department’s report even said the 14-day target set by the VA for wait times is unattainable.

Federal investigators will review William S. Middleton Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in Madison again, along with one of its outpatient clinics.

The audit also shows 525 veterans in Wisconsin have been waiting more than three months for medical appointments. Another 405 people who enrolled for VA health care over the past decade were never seen by a doctor.

Vietnam War veteran and hospital patient Otto Wruck was surprised to hear about the long wait times. He said while it used to be a problem, there have been vast improvements in the hospital’s efficiency.

“It's very good, and I'm speaking from the bottom of my heart,” Wruck said. “Many years ago it was a little dubious, but they really improved. They really have.”

  • iOS 8

    From Apple

    Best new Apple iOS 8 features

    Apple's iOS 8 is here, and it's packed with slick new features. Take a look at some of the best changes to the latest version of the popular mobile operating system.

  • Testing for Ebola

    REUTERS/Misha Hussain

    Common myths about Ebola

    At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered in a remote village in Guinea in a brutal example of growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis. Take a look at common myths about the deadly virus.

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.


    Events calendar

    Looking for something to do? Visit Channel 3000's events section featuring dining, food, music and family-friendly events throughout Madison and the surrounding area.

  • Get your weather app and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.