News / USA

    US Congress Investigates Veterans Hospital Waiting Lists

    FILE – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki applauds veterans in audience while addressing disabled veterans' memorial dedication ceremony, Washington, Nov. 2010.
    FILE – Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki applauds veterans in audience while addressing disabled veterans' memorial dedication ceremony, Washington, Nov. 2010.
    VOA News
    Members of the U.S. Congress have called the head of the Veterans Administration to testify next week about reports of long waiting lists for military veterans seeking medical treatment.

    A committee of the House of Representatives voted Thursday to subpoena records about the waiting lists. A Senate committee has called Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to testify.

    Shinseki has ordered a national audit of access to medical care for U.S. military veterans, after reports of months-long waiting lists at Veterans hospitals in Arizona and other locations. One of the reports said veterans had died while waiting for care.

    The reports about the Phoenix, Arizona, facility said officials there had maintained a secret waiting list to hide delays. Veterans Affairs officials have denied the existence of a secret list, but say they are investigating record-keeping in the veterans health system.

    The American Legion, one of the major U.S. organizations that represent military veterans, has called for Shinseki and two other Veterans Administration officials to resign. The Veterans of Foreign Wars group, however, said it disagreed with the resignation call and said Shinseki should take action to fix the problems rather than quitting.

    The White House says it has full confidence in Shinseki, and said the backlog of cases of veterans awaiting treatment at a VA facility had been cut in half, from 600,000 cases last year to just more than 300,000 cases in early May.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dal Asher from: Sacramento, CA
    May 26, 2014 10:50 AM
    I would like to appear before Congress to testify about the absolutely above and beyond care my husband receives at VA Hospitals. He served honorably in the U.S. Air Force for nearly 30 years and continues to serve DOD abroad. He has short timelines when he is actually in the U.S. and VA hospitals from California to New York and back. They work with his very short timelines to fit him in for heart procedures and the care is amazing. How about letting some of the millions who receive wonderful care every year testify. I am sorry for the few who were missed and my heart goes out to them, but our experiences have been so wonderful!!!

    by: Feminist Coalition from: Boston Mass
    May 10, 2014 4:00 PM
    "...reports said veterans had died while waiting for care." If only the Federal Gov't were in charge of our nation's medical care these deaths woulden't... oh wait?!

    by: jbm from: Phoenix
    May 09, 2014 1:55 PM
    Vets deserve The Best, and transparency on this issue. Many stories going around.

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