Spokane VA hospital delays 24-hour urgent care

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The head of Spokane's VA hospital says the promise of 24-hour urgent care will be pushed back a year.

Dr. Robert Fischer says he wants to use all of 2019 to review the hospital's operations in order to recruit doctors, better manage and place resources where they are needed to support the planned 24-hour operations at the urgent care.

The Spokesman-Review says the urgent care currently operates 12 hours a day.

Spokane's VA hospital ended its 24-hour emergency room in 2014, and elected officials have been pushing since then to replace that service. The hospital serves about 32,000 veterans a year with a budget of $250 million for fiscal year 2019.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, says she is disappointed by the delay.