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JACKSON (AP) – Patients seeking care through the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical center in Jackson are waiting an average of 45 days for their first appointment with a primary care doctor – about three times longer than the department’s goal.

A report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the average wait time for new patients at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Gulfport was about 48 days.

The audit says a 14-day goal for seeing first-time patients was unattainable given the growing demand among veterans for health care and poor planning. The VA has since abandoned that goal.

At the Jackson VA, 97 percent of appointments were scheduled in under 30 days, and the Biloxi VA was 94 percent.

The audit was released Monday.

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