1,700 veterans not on official wait list at Phoenix VA facility, would never see doctors

Thursday, May 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Jacqueline Klimas
The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Staff at the Phoenix VA hospital doctored their records, keeping hundreds of veterans off the official waiting lists and ensuring some would never get to see a doctor for treatment, according to a preliminary audit released Wednesday that confirms some of the worst accusations in the burgeoning scandal.

The report from the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general was even worse than many lawmakers expected, and it spurred another round of calls for VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to resign.

Joining those calls were three Senate Democrats, who became the first to break with President Obama, who has steadfastly defended his VA chief.

The inspector general’s report said Phoenix VA officials kept 1,700 veterans off the official books, allowing the officials to lie about waiting times and making themselves eligible for bonuses. The scathing report also suggests that VA headquarters in Washington was aware as far back as 2010 of many of the schemes VA offices were using to doctor the books.

Top VA officials told Congress on Wednesday that they first thought the secret lists were part of an initiative to reschedule canceled appointments, and that they were destroyed because they contained sensitive information about patients.

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