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Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

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Tucson VA experiencing higher than normal Emergency Department (ED) visits

January 8, 2018

TUCSON, AZ – The Tucson VA, like many other hospitals in southern Arizona, is experiencing a high volume of Veterans experiencing flu like symptoms in the Emergency Department (ED). According to the most recent update from the Arizona Department of Health Services, the flu outbreak in the state of Arizona is a staggering 888 percent higher than a typical flu season, and it has affected all hospitals within Arizona. 

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) is working to meet this increased demand while still providing world class health care to our Veterans.  We are asking for patience and understanding from our Veterans and their families during the current flu outbreak impacting Tucson and southern Arizona.

All our Veterans are very important to us. We give clinical priority to patients requiring emergent or urgent medical attention. This may require some Veterans to wait longer in the ED to receive care. Our ED staff works diligently to ensure that all patients are triaged to determine care needs and those waiting for care are comfortable and seen as soon as possible.

Veterans can also call toll free 1 (877) 252-4866 to connect with a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to have their health care questions and concerns answered over the phone. The nurse advice line can help determine if a visit to your primary care provider or the ED would be better to address your flu like symptoms.

For more information on the flu and what to do when you get sick, please visit

For media inquiries, please contact the Tucson VA Public Affairs office at (520) 629-1819.