September 27, 2016

As VA Inspector General Releases Report on Hawaii Health Care System, Hirono Calls for Continued Action

Report Was Commissioned at Senator Hirono’s Request to Follow Up on Action Promised at 2014 Field Hearing

In response to a request by Senator Mazie K. Hirono, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General released an inspection report on a six-point plan the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) undertook to improve patient wait times for VA medical services.

The VA first pledged to implement the plan at Senator Hirono’s 2014 field hearing, which shed light on the long wait times and other obstacles Hawaii veterans face seeking care. Since the 2014 hearing, average wait times for new primary care patients shrank from 43 to 7 days in FY 2015. However, the report also recommended that VAPIHCS must continue efforts to “enhance the availability of and access to a comprehensive network of care and services.”

“Although the VA has made important progress in improving patient care in Hawaii, it’s clear we have more work to do,” said Senator Hirono. “I will continue to hold top officials accountable until every veteran in Hawaii gets the quality of care they deserve.”

Senator Hirono requested the inspection as part of her continuing efforts to address issues raised by Hawaii veterans about VA health care and benefit services. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Hirono has brought top VA officials to Hawaii to hear directly from veterans, and held veterans roundtables in every county. In the wake of this report, the Senator will continue to travel across the state to solicit feedback from our veterans on how to continue improving access to VA services.

Senator Hirono has successfully championed legislative solutions signed into law to address health care access, housing, and other obstacles that Hawaii veterans face. 

Click here to read the full report.