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El Paso VA ranked among lowest in nation

El Paso VA one of the lowest ranked hospitals in the country (Source: CBS4)

Detailed data was released Thursday about Veterans Affairs hospitals around the nation.

USA Today conducted an analysis of different categories and ranked VA hospitals.

El Paso’s VA earned a score of 46 for getting appointments right away.

The national average for that is 69.

Meanwhile, El Paso’s VA scored an 18 on offering care on weekends and holidays, which is 56 points lower than the national average of 74.

The associate director of El Paso’s VA, Jamie Park, says a lack of space and doctors contributes to that issue.

"Of the docs we can house physically here, every single one of them is seeing as many veterans as they're allowed by VA directive that they're allowed to see," Park said.

Within categories that pertained to patient experience, such as explaining things, the provider listening carefully, the provider respecting what the patient says and the provider knowing the patient's medical history, El Paso ranked below average.

Amongst these categories, El Paso’s VA ranked between 61 and 79, while the national average for these categories was 79 to 91.

The 16th District commander for the American Legion of Texas, David Crocier, says El Paso’s VA is not bad, but it can always get better.

“Realistically, in El Paso, I believe the veterans get really good care here,” Crocier said. “Nothing’s perfect, that’s for sure, and they do have room to improve.”

The VA says they’re doing all they can to fix the issues.

“We are working very, very hard to communicate what those responses mean and how they affect us,” Park said.

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