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An internal report from Veterans Affairs confirms that 1,700 veterans were not on any waitlists at all at the Phoenix VA hospital and confirmed that waitlists with falsified wait times did exist. The news reinvigorated calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign.
The report is not complete, Richard J. Griffin, the VA’s acting inspector general said Wednesday, but it does confirm the troubling reports of activity at the Phoenix hospital. “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,” Griffin said, reports The New York Times.
The showed that at least 1,700 veterans were not on a waitlist to see a physician, which means that they “continue to be at risk of being forgotten or lost.”
According to CNN, the report also notes that there have been allegations of “daily of mismanagement, inappropriate hiring decisions, sexual harassment, and bullying behavior by mid- and senior-level managers” in Phoenix.
As previous media reports have alleged, there was a secret, unofficial waitlist used to hide the actual wait times veterans had to endure before being seen by a doctor. Investigators looked at 226 patients as a sample, finding that they averaged 115-day waits before being seen for the first time. However, the Phoenix VA reported that their wait times were only 24 days.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CNN that the Justice Department needs to launch its own investigation into the VA. He also said that it is time for Shinseki to “move on.”