WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud released the following statement in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs nationwide audit of scheduling practices at VA facilities:
"Today's VA audit confirms that, nationwide, far too many veterans are waiting unacceptable amounts of time for healthcare. After all these brave men and women have sacrificed for our nation, they deserve the highest-quality care -- and in too many places, they are not receiving it. We have a history of acting in bipartisan unity on the Veterans' Affairs Committee on reforms that improve services for our veterans, and I am confident that we will continue that shared commitment in the days ahead.
"Today's audit shows that, at Togus, 99 percent of nearly 48,000 appointments were scheduled in 30 days or less. Ninety-nine percent is good -- but we must make that number better. Every single veteran who comes to Togus deserves timely, exceptional care.
"I will keep that one percent of veterans in mind as we move forward with the work ahead of us. And I believe that Maine has a number of examples of how to provide quality, timely, and localized care to veterans - from the ARCH program to our Community-Based Outpatient Clinics. That's why I'm continuing to push for the VA to extend their relationship with the Cary Medical Center for the ARCH program. I'm confident that, by working together, veterans in Maine and across the country can receive the healthcare that they've earned through their incredible service."
Earlier today, Rep. Michaud also supported the passage of legislation that strengthens requirements on the VA Secretary to ensure recommendations from Inspector General reports are executed.
Today's VA audit found that of Togus' 47,698 scheduled appointments, 47,034 were within 30 days. The full, nationwide VA audit data is available at http://www.va.gov/health/access-audit.asp