3 Tennessee VA clinics near top of list for long waits - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

3 Tennessee VA clinics near top of list for long waits

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NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - Tennessee Veterans Affairs officials blame staffing shortages for long wait times at several of the state's rural and small-town clinics.

The VA's timeliness standard calls for patients to wait no longer than 30 days for nonemergency care. According to figures released by the VA for September through February, about 15 percent of appointments at the Athens clinic were delayed at least 31 days. In Columbia, that number was 14 percent. In Dover, it was 11 percent.

The national average was a little less than 3 percent.

VA spokeswoman Jessica Schiefer blamed the delays on a shortage of medical providers and said officials were working to add staff.

The busiest clinic was in Memphis, with more than 189,000 appointments completed. The delay there was below the national average at 1.2 percent.

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