By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono has requested a deeper look into the wait times veterans are subjected to when seeking health care in Hawaii.
Hirono sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday.
An internal VA audit released Monday said that new patients wait an average of 145 days in Hawaii for an appointment with a primary care physician.
Hirono says she believes established patients also wait too long based on complaints she's received from veterans.
Local VA director Wayne Pfeffer says he welcomes any external review that would help the hospital improve.
Pfeffer says the hospital began working on reducing wait times before the recent audit. He says auditors didn't find any inappropriate scheduling activity among his staff.