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WASHINGTON (AP) - The wait time for new patients seeking a primary care doctor at the VA Center in Richmond, Virginia, is more than 72 days - roughly five times what the Department of Veterans Affairs had set as a goal.

VA guidelines, now abandoned, said veterans should be seen within 14 days of their desired date for a primary care appointment. The department has since said that meeting that target was unattainable given existing resources and growing demand.

Other VA facilities in Virginia also exceed that goal. In Hampton, the average wait time is just under 58 days. In Salem, the average wait is 34 ½ days.

The numbers were released Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of a national audit.

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