Gallup Poll: Veterans Say Access to VA Care 'Difficult'

Image: Gallup Poll: Veterans Say Access to VA Care 'Difficult'

Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 07:48 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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More than half of American veterans find it difficult to access healthcare through a Veterans Affairs hospital, a new poll reveals.

The Gallup survey reported 55 percent of veterans say it was "very" or "somewhat" difficult to get medical appointments while just 30 percent say it is "very" or "somewhat" easy.

The poll, conducted June 16 to June 20, comes on the heels of a massive investigation into Veteran Affairs facilities that found long wait times for veterans seeking medical attention and fake waiting lists. Dozens of veterans are believed to have died at an Arizona facility due to extensive treatment delays.

An interim report on the VA delivered to President Barack Obama last week found that the VA’s medical system is hobbled by management with little accountability and a "corrosive culture" that has led to widespread personnel problems.

The poll showed that the scandal has resulted in a lack of confidence by veterans hoping to get proper medical care, with 60 percent of them saying that they are concerned about the agency’s ability to treat veterans. A little more than a third, 34 percent, said the current problems made no difference to their medical access.

The political party affiliation of veterans appears to influence the way veterans view the availability of medical care. Forty percent of Democrats think it is easy to get treatment while only 23 percent of Republicans say medical care is easily obtained, with independents falling in between, at 33 percent.

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