Department of Veterans Affairs inspectors say they found an unofficial list of some 1,700 veterans who were waiting to get an appointment with a doctor at the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where whistleblowers allege up to 40 vets died before seeing a doctor.
VA Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin, in a preliminary report released on Wednesday, offered no indication that any deaths are linked to the secret wait list ….
As reported by CBS,
… ‘While our work is not complete, we have substantiated that significant delays in access to care negatively impacted the quality of care at this medical facility,’ the report explained….
The IG’s preliminary review found ‘multiple types of scheduling practices that were not in compliance’ with the policies set by the agency. The report cited multiple lists separate from the official electronic waiting list for treatment, saying the additional lists ‘may be the basis for allegations of creating ‘secret’ waiting lists….’
Inspector General Veterans Health Administration Interim Report 05282014 by dsx_shep
[IG Veterans Health Administration Report dated 05282014 (pdf format)]
The full IG reported is expected to be release in August.
Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs issued a press release today with the following statement.
Today the inspector general confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt what was becoming more obvious by the day: wait time schemes and data manipulation are systemic throughout VA and are putting veterans at risk in Phoenix and across the country. Right now, there are two things that need to happen. Attorney General Eric Holder should launch a criminal investigation into VA’s widespread scheduling corruption and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should resign immediately. Shinseki is a good man who has served his country honorably, but he has failed to get VA’s health care system in order despite repeated and frequent warnings from Congress, the Government Accountability Office and the IG. What’s worse, to this day, Shinseki – in both word and deed – appears completely oblivious to the severity of the health care challenges facing the department. VA needs a leader who will take swift and decisive action to discipline employees responsible for mismanagement, negligence and corruption that harms veterans while taking bold steps to replace the department’s culture of complacency with a climate of accountability. Sec. Shinseki has proven time and again he is not that leader. That’s why it’s time for him to go.” Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will convene later today.