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New Report Addresses Long-Lasting Issues Within Baltimore’s VA Medical Center

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new report is shedding light on long-lasting issues within Baltimore’s VA Medical Center.

Baltimore’s VA Medical Center is under the microscope again.

The hospital promises major changes are in the works.

Baltimore’s veterans are simply waiting too long in the emergency room, and according to the inspector general, they have been for years.

In a new report, the Office of the Inspector General finds inadequate staffing and poor patient flow.

Someone had previously complained that patients were waiting more than four hours for a bed.

Patients and veterans like Edward Cameron.

“There’s some good people in there that will help you out and everything, but sometimes it just takes so long just to get seen,” Cameron said.

The Baltimore VA Medical Center did make some improvements to patient flow after the first audit, back in 2013, but inspectors say that wasn’t enough.

The recent report found:

  • Long wait times and overcrowding
  • Poor communication between departments
  • Delayed bed cleaning
  • Lack of support staff
  • Overall major problems with patient flow

“Doesn’t surprise me at all,” said patient Jamal Childs. “Because the level of care that people need is not being provided.”

The VA says it’s already solved some issues since the investigation, telling WJZ in a statement:

“The VA Maryland Health Care System takes the OIG recommendations very seriously, and it has addressed each recommendation to reduce admission times from the ED to inpatient units as part of its continued mission of providing Maryland’s veterans with safe, quality and compassionate health care.”

Though some veterans are satisfied with their care already.

“The last time I went to the emergency room I was in and out, believe it or not,” said patient Robyn Wiley.

“I’ve always had good service, I’ve never had a problem,” said patient Dave Frazier. “I’ve had worse experiences at a civilian doctors.”

The report lists 11 recommendations for the VA. Staff at the VA declined to go on camera Thursday, but said they’ve already completed two of the recommendations.

The report insists no one was hurt as a result of long wait times.

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