Probe of U.S. Veterans Affairs facilities expands: report

WASHINGTON Tue May 20, 2014 10:08pm EDT

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 15, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. Veterans Affairs facilities being investigated for problems involving delays in treating patients has more than doubled to 26, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The network cited the VA's Office of Inspector General, adding that the inspector general told a Senate committee last week there were 10 facilities under investigation.

VA officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

The allegations that delays in treatment at veterans' hospitals could have led to otherwise preventable deaths has sparked a growing political scandal, including calls for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

The secretary was grilled at a Senate hearing last week where Democrats joined Republicans to demand stronger action to fix problems after officials at VA medical facilities in Phoenix were accused of covering up long wait times for patients, including 40 who died while awaiting care.

Shinseki told the lawmakers he was "mad as hell" about allegations of schemes to mask waiting times for care at VA facilities, but said the VA would wait for its inspector general to complete its investigation before acting on the Phoenix allegations.

A top department official, undersecretary of health Dr. Robert Petzel, resigned on Friday in a move critics said was an effort at damage control.

The VA has put three senior officials in Phoenix on administrative leave after doctors there said they were ordered to hold veterans' names for months on a secret waiting list until a spot opened up on an official list that met the agency's two-week waiting-time goals.

Allegations have been reported about similar cover-up schemes at VA medical facilities in at least seven other cities. The agency runs the largest U.S. healthcare group, overseeing some 1,700 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities.

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Additional reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (4)
PappaBear wrote:
“(Reuters) – The number of U.S. Veterans Affairs facilities being investigated for problems involving delays in treating patients has more than doubled to 26, CNN reported on Tuesday.”

Just wait till they have finished writing and implementing ACA, should be tons of fun far all. Gotta love those super efficient bureaucracies .

May 20, 2014 11:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
datagod wrote:
Just when I think the dems have a chance to put the republicans out of business for good, they sit on their balls and screw up my life. My life depends on the VA, and the entire nationwide system is filled with greedy, lying, murdering traitors–all singing the same transparently silly song of worship for veterans to distract us from the crimes they’re committing on the screen they know we can’t see.

I’m so dxxm tired of their stupid fxxking bullsXXt.

May 20, 2014 12:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
So sad that we have no problem sending people to war, yet for decades we have had issues taking care of the people after the wars.

May 21, 2014 1:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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