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State

About 900 Ill. veterans requested, didn't get care

CHICAGO (AP) — A new audit shows nearly 900 veterans have requested appointments at Illinois' Veterans Administration hospitals in the past decade but not received them.

The Veterans Affairs Department released findings Monday of a national audit on quality of care and wait times. It follows allegations that 40 patients died awaiting care at a Phoenix hospital where employees kept a secret waiting list to cover up delays.

The audit shows 494 new patients requested an appointment at the VA hospital in Marion, Illinois but no appointment was scheduled.

It also shows the average wait time for a primary care appointment was 33 days for patients at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital outside Chicago and 54 days in Danville.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says the VA hasn't been forthcoming enough about problems.

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