PHOENIX VA MEDICAL SYSTEM IS FAILING VETERANS
VFW wants leadership held accountable
April 24, 2014
national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is
calling for the full accountability of the leadership at a Department of
Veterans Affairs health care system in Phoenix after it was reported that at
least 40 veterans have died while awaiting care.
management and accountability is all we have ever required of the VA,” said
William A. Thien, a Vietnam veteran from Georgetown, Ind., who leads the 1.9
million-member VFW and its Auxiliaries. “When you deal with lives, there should
be no leniency granted to anyone with any knowledge of this alleged cover-up,
to include everyone in Phoenix who knew but didn’t tell, and those in oversight
positions at the VA network and VA headquarters in Washington who knew but
didn’t care,” he said.
allegedly kept two sets of waiting lists, only one of which is official and
used to report average patient appointment waiting times to Washington. The VA
requires its medical facilities to provide care to patients typically within 14
to 30 days, depending on the availability and specialty required. The alleged
secret waiting list tracks real appointment waiting times, which span far
beyond 14 to 30 days; precious time seriously ill patients cannot afford.
“The VFW fully supports the ongoing VA Inspector General’s
investigation and closer congressional oversight, especially to uncover whether
other VA medical centers are also cooking their books,” he said.
“Regarding VA leadership in Phoenix, there is zero trust in their
ability to lead, much less to properly care for America’s heroes. If the
allegations of veterans dying as a result of this internal process are true,
then the individuals responsible should be prosecuted criminally to the fullest
extent of the law. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs
needs to fire them all, then let the lawyers sort it out.”
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