The results from the interim report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General provide a troubled look into what has been confirmed to be systemic failure related to inappropriate scheduling practices within the VA Health Care System.
The report confirms use of a second patient waiting list by the Phoenix VA Health Care System, and indicates that this practice was not unique to that medical center. A final report, expected in August, will provide more details on the impact these delays had on veterans’ health.
Prior to his resignation, former Secretary Eric Shinseki addressed the report findings saying VA would be enforcing accountability for those responsible for manipulation of wait time data. He added that he is in the process of firing senior VA leaders in Phoenix.
Additionally, Shinseki directed the VA to remove veterans’ wait times as a means for evaluating employee performance. Shinseki also stated that VA leadership will not receive performance awards this year.
DAV National Commander Joseph W. Johnston acknowledged that these actions are good first steps to addressing these serious allegations, but said that there is much more work to be done.
“While this crisis is deeply disturbing, we hope the issues uncovered serve as a wakeup call to focus America’s attention on the need to fulfill the sacred promises made to the men and women who so honorably served our country,” said Johnston.”
Read the rest of Commander Johnston’s statement here.
See the interim Inspector General’s Interim Report here.