The Inspector General has expanded the investigation into allegations that the Phoenix VA Hospital created a secret waitlist to disguise the amount of time it took to treat vets. The probe is now focusing on 26 VA medical centers nationwide. Under federal law, VA Hospitals must provide care to veterans within 30 days of a patient’s request. Whistleblowers at the hospital allege that there were two lists – one cataloging timely treatments, and the other covering up delays that left vets waiting months for care.
Since the allegations surfaced last month, the AP reports, the inspector general’s office has received numerous complaints about falsified records and delayed care at VA facilities in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Florida. President Obama vowed yesterday to hold accountable anyone who participated in the VA scandal.
The President said yesterday that it’s unclear whether deaths of any of the veterans on the secret waitlist are linked to treatment delays. However, he said preliminary reports indicate wait times involved patients with chronic conditions, not emergency services. The scandal has rocked the VA, and has elected officials on both sides of the aisle calling for sweeping reforms. “I respect [Shinseki’s] sacrifice, I respect what he did, but it’s under his watch that we are in this situation,” Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), said Wednesday, according to the New York Times. “Mr. President, we need urgency!”
Read more from the AP, from the Christian Science Monitor.