Fourth VA Clinic Under Consideration for San Diego County
The number of veterans San Diego County are increasing at such a rate that a fourth Veterans Affairs clinic in the northern part of the county is being discussed before the third clinic has even been constructed, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
On average, 45 patients per week are joining San Diego County's VA patient rolls, and VA officials expect to serve about 60,000 patients in 2008.
The VA system has committed to building a clinic between Oceanside and Escondido by 2010, and the Union-Tribune reports that another clinic could open in northern San Diego County as early as 2013.
Gary Rossio, director of the San Diego VA Healthcare System, said northern parts of the county, particularly around Camp Pendleton, are experiencing the most significant increases in patients. Rossio said the clinic between Escondido and Oceanside could technically be at capacity before it even opens in 2010.
The VA clinic in Vista also has seen its patient load increase by 20% from last fiscal year, as well as a 33% increase in appointments. Officials also said they are struggling to stay ahead of the rising demand, which is expected to remain for decades (Rogers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/7).