Investigators in the US say nearly half of the war veterans who seek mental health care for the first time must wait an average of 50 days before receiving a full evaluation, a much longer delay than the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reported.
The VA has said 95 per cent of new patients seeking mental health treatment get a full evaluation within the organisation’s goal of 14 days. An inspector general’s report admitted, however, that the department’s tracking is flawed and that the VA was overstating its success.
The department has greatly increased staffing in recent years, but the report confirmed that VA doctors and medical staff don’t believe they have the manpower to handle the ever-growing number of injured veteran.
Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.