An audit released on Monday shows average wait times for Veterans' first appointments at Tuscaloosa's VA is roughly 47 days. That's shorter than other VA hospitals in the state.
Officials in Tuscaloosa credit their lower numbers to proactive steps taken to make sure veterans get timely care. The report also says no significant issues were found.
"We're doing all sorts of things to open access. We've created extended hours clinics where we have extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings," Damon Stevenson, a spokesperson for Tuscaloosa's VA said. "Also, on Saturdays for veterans that may not be able to get to us during the week."
Stevenson said Tuscaloosa's VA also sends a mobile health clinic to four rural West Alabama cities one day a week to give veterans access to care. We're told the VA has also expanded call centers to help deal with any scheduling issues.
"Veterans give us positive feedback," Stevenson said. "Of course no facility is perfect. We always try and make improvements."
NAVY Veteran Walter Turner tells FOX6 News he doesn't have any complaints from his care at Tuscaloosa's VA hospital.
"I had nothing but outstanding reviews for that VA rehab because they had me on my feet. They did exercises. They always ask ‘what can we do for you? What do you need?'" Turner said.
Turner says it's a shame some veterans around the country have died allegedly waiting on care. Turner adds those hospitals should take a page out of Tuscaloosa's book on how to take care of veterans.
"Do I believe the medical care the VA offers should be some of the best medical care in the country? Yes I do because we gave, we fought," Turner said.
Reports are expected to be released every two weeks to see if those nationwide wait times are coming down.
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