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Amarillo VA Audit Results In

Last month's audit of the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center shows new patients are having to wait a month or more for an appointment. But, as they say looks can be deceiving.

AMARILLO -- The audit of Amarillo's VA Hospital does not paint a very good picture for new patients.

The numbers for new patients looks awful, but they are very misleading.

Here is a look at the numbers.

For established patients wait times are well within the 14-day window.

  • Primary care averages 2-days,

  • Specialized care at 2-and-a-half days,

  • Mental health care is just one day.

New patient numbers look just plain awful.

  • Primary care is more than a month,

  • Specialized care more than 40-days,

  • And mental health care 61-days.

The head of mental health services at the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center says the numbers are accurate but misleading.

Here is how, if an established patient goes to a re-designated clinic they count as a "new" patient.

Doctor Lambert says if veterans really had to wait 60-days there would have been uproar long ago.

In fact, Doctor Lambert says wait times for new mental health patients is very good. He says 86-percent are seen within the 14-day period.

Three other VA medical facilities in Texas get poor grades for wait times for new patients. El Paso, Harlingen and Dallas all rank in the top ten for longest wait times.

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