Overton Brooks Medical Center reduces wait for veterans



By Scott Rogers

While the Veterans Affairs Administration dealt with months of negative publicity concerning long wait times, Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport held its own against other VA sites and enrolled an additional 800 veterans for health care services over a six-month period.

Last year the Veterans Affairs instituted major reforms costing billions of dollars after numerous cases were reported throughout the VA system of sick veterans languishing on waiting lists. However, a recent Associated Press report found the number of veterans waiting more than 30 days to 60 days for nonemergency health care continues and medical appointments that take longer than 90 days to complete has nearly doubled.

Louisiana’s facilities generally were not among the most delayed. New Orleans Southeast Louisiana VA Medical Center had the state’s highest rate for appointments delayed at least 31 days, an average of 5.95 percent. Overton Brooks performed best among the state’s 15 hospitals and clinics, ranking No. 8 in the state at 1.74 percent.

At Overton Brooks, patients experiencing delays of 31 to 60 days, 61 to 90 days and more than 90 days saw far lower percentages, and were lower than the state’s two other VA medical centers, in Alexandria and New Orleans.

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