Digital Desk

The waiting is the hardest part

Anyone who’s seen a doctor knows that sometimes you end up waiting whether it’s on the phone, in the reception area, in the emergency room or in the often tiny patient care room in the clinic. And sometimes the wait can seem a bit, um, long.

That’s apparently how it’s been for patients in the Veterans Affairs’ medical system, so much so that it captured national attention when CNN reported just how bad it had gotten. In some facilities, veterans waited months to get care. Some were even dying. The men and women who had served their country, some of whom had done stints in dangerous tours overseas and even suffered injuries. The public was rightfully appalled, and Congress stepped in to add more funding for the VA.

But did things get better? We’ll let you decide. Today, we published a story by The Associated Press and another by reporter Tom Vogt exploring the wait issue still troubling the VA, according to a large dataset gathered by the AP. Veterans are still waiting. In Vancouver, about 4.1% of the VA’s patients wait at least 30 days to get care. The goal is to get patients care within 30 days. The national average is 2.8% of patients wait at least 30 days to get care. To learn how the local VA stacks up against the rest of the country, explore the interactive below.

John Hill

John Hill

John is the web and photo editor at The Columbian, where he has worked since 1995 in various roles. A journalist for the past 25 years, he's a fan of good storytelling, data, graphics and still likes to read an actual newspaper. Twitter: @hilljohng