- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Veterans who want to see their doctor for the first time in Portland encounter some of the longest waits in the nation.

The goal is to get a veteran to their doctor within two weeks. But in Portland, only 18 percent of veterans who are new to the Veterans Affairs system see their doctor in that span. Most wait eight weeks or more.

USA Today first reported the numbers and the VA in Portland confirmed them to KGW-TV.

Portland VA spokesman Dan Herrigstad told KGW (http://is.gd/daZhJp ) he doesn’t think the reported wait times will surprise many veterans. He said: “We have had challenges and we know it.”

The spokesman said the Portland system encompasses 12 campuses and the VA wants to add more doctors and buildings.

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Information from: KGW-TV, http://www.kgw.com/

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