Veterans' wait times at El Paso VA are the latest to come under scrutiny

Veterans have been forced to wait more than two months on average for mental health treatment at the El Paso VA facility, and more than a third never received it, according to a survey released Wednesday as lawmakers in Washington worked to bridge partisan differences on legislation to fix the larger mess within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The survey contradicts VA data, according to Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who commissioned it, and adds to the number of VA sites nationwide that have come under scrutiny over misrepresented wait times for healthcare.

Veterans waited an average of 71 days for mental health treatment in El Paso, and more than 36% never saw a provider, according to the survey of nearly 700 veterans. O’Rourke said VA officials told him that each month during the last year, 85% to 100% of veterans seeking first-time mental health appointments saw a provider within two weeks.