According to the Government Accounting Office (GAO), it takes between 37 and 75 days for veterans in the Pacific islands to receive medical attention and mental health care from defense facilities. These services are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) to approximately 50,000 veterans who live Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. GAO found that some of the veterans experienced delays related to the processing of their enrollment applications, contacting them to schedule appointments and completing comprehensive mental health evaluations. The bureaucratic delays were compounded by an acute shortage of medical professionals. For more information, read the GAO report.
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