Veterans Affairs chief apologizes for problems, to meet with Obama

WASHINGTON Fri May 30, 2014 9:05am EDT

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WASHINGTON May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized on Friday for scheduling abuses at veterans' healthcare facilities to cover up long wait times, saying the problems were more severe than he initially thought.

Shinseki, speaking at a conference on homeless veterans in Washington, said he had been led to believe the problems were limited and isolated but he now thinks "it is systemic."

"I apologize," he said, adding that the leadership and integrity woes at the VA can be fixed.

The White House announced that President Barack Obama would meet with Shinseki at 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT). (Reporting by Susan Heavey, David Alexander and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Doina Chiacu)