Louisville VA Hospital decreases wait time for patients - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville VA Hospital decreases wait time for patients

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville's Robley Rex VA Medical Center is seeing more patients, more quickly, according to a new report released Monday by the hospital.

The Louisville hospital said it never had the horrendous wait times of some others around the country, but more staff and better procedures have improved service to local veterans.

Army veteran Larry Hardin served two years in Vietnam. Now at age 70, he's a regular patient at the VA Medical Center.

He says he’s had problems with his eyes and ears, and has diabetes because of Agent Orange.

But Hardin says he has no complaints about the care.

"It's hard to find people that care about you anymore, you know, and this place does. They care," said Hardin.

Army vet Eurick Jackson says he has not experienced long wait times for treatment.

"Depends on what you're up here for, but they're very fast. You don't wait long," he said.

The Medical Center Director Martin Traxler says 98 percent of patients complete their appointments within 30 days, more than 90 percent within two weeks and 17 percent the same day.

The hospital says it has streamlined procedures, and increased funding has allowed it to add more than 100 staff members.

"Often we've been faster than the private sector. Where our wait time might have been over 30 says, in the private sector it may have been greater than 45 days," said Traxler.

But what is moving slowly is the proposed new $800 million dollar VA Hospital. The site off Brownsboro Road is still an open field while the VA awaits the final environmental impact report.

"The current project shows that we would be breaking ground in 2017 with a four-and-a-half to five-year construction period," said Traxler.

There is still some opposition to the location of the new medical center, but officials here say they're confident the new facility will open in 2023.

"We continue to design. So as you drive past the property, and it appears things aren't happening, we have not broken ground yet, we are still in the design process, so we move forward from that perspective," said Traxler.

One problem the new hospital should solve right away is parking. It will have some 3,000 spaces, about double what's available now.

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