Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Among the problems in the VA health system that have been uncovered by scandal over the past two months, wait times for veterans seeking care seems to be the most problematic.
Today, Senator Charles Schumer was in Buffalo to talk about our local VA Hospital, and while the wait times there were found to not be as bad as some across the country, there are delays.
Schumer says one of the major causes, is a backlog of equipment. "We've been hearing about this repeatedly from veterans around the region," Schumer said. "In some of the most serious cases, facilities wait three or four years before they see new equipment."
Items such as catheterization labs, CT scan machines, and MRI machines ordered by the Buffalo hospital two years ago have still not made it to Western New York, causing patients to have to wait along with their doctors.
Schumer hopes the new VA administration can solve the issue. "We're going to look at legislation, we want to get a report from the VA as to what's wrong, why it's not working, and why procurement takes so long. I've checked with some regular hospitals, it doesn't take close to as long with them."
"We have a very good hospital administrator, and we are not in any way derogating what they have done. In fact, when they get to procure equipment themselves, for the smaller things they're allowed to do, it's great."
Schumer says that currently, Buffalo's VA Hospital is waiting on nine different pieces of equipment.