Memphis VA director speaks out about medical center review

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The feds flagged hospitals as part of a nationwide audit with Memphis as one of the cities in its cross-hairs.

Tuesday, Memphis VA Director Diane Knight said she wasn’t surprised the main facility is under scrutiny.

A new patient wanting primary care currently has to wait on average 49 days to see a doctor.

The federal government is asking staff in Memphis to put together a list on how they will lower wait times.

“We are two of the largest facilities in our network, and it’s not surprising we would be under review,” said Knight. “The reason we are getting an additional review was not made known to us.”

According to a nationwide audit, Memphis had some of the worst wait times in the country. About 1,700 veterans couldn’t get an appointment within 30 days, and more than 500 had to wait up to 90 days to be seen.

Knight said her team will be looking at their resources, staff, space and training to make sure no one waits longer than 30 days, which is the national standard.

When the media asked Knight to be more specific about the changes, she walked away from the podium.

No word on if and when federal inspectors are coming back and when changes will be implemented.

While some veterans told WREG it took them more than 18 months to get their first appointment in Memphis, others said this is being blown out of proportion.

“They always took care of me,” said one veteran as he walked of the hospital.

Knight plans on holding a town hall meeting possibly this Thursday.

4 comments

  • The Real Chris Williams Jr

    The Memphis VA is a joke. Go to little Rock they care about you. Memphis needs to be taken over. I wish they would let me run it. The city needs me to run it too

  • Fred Vannucci

    In the early 90’s I once had an appointment set for 0930 to see a physician. At 1330 I was still sitting in the waiting room. After a lot of veterans began complaining about the excessive wait times, former congressman Harold Ford, Sr. made a visit to the hospital and lit a fire under them. After that, when you had an appointment at a given time, you generally saw the physician at that time. Maybe it’s time for Cohen to visit the hospital and light another fire under them.

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