How many veterans died waiting for help while their wait lists were tampered with, possibly so employees could earn their bonuses?
According to an internal audit of the Department of Veterans Affairs released Monday, more than 120,000 veterans across the country are experiencing long wait periods to see doctors or never got to see a doctor, according to an internal Department of Veterans Affairs audit released Monday..
A total of 57,436 veterans have waited 90 days to see a doctor and still did not have an appointment as of May 15.
In the past 10 years, 64,000 veterans who sought care were never even seen by a doctor.
Richard Griffin, the VA acting inspector general, is currently investigating 69 VA medical facilities for possible wrongdoing.
This is a national disgrace.
There is criminal conduct involved. Thirteen percent of schedulers in the facility-by-facility report on 731 hospitals and outpatient clinics reported being told by supervisors to falsify appointment schedules to make patient waits look shorter than they were.
The House and Senate are writing legislation to allow veterans to see doctors using Medicare or TRICARE. The proposals would also make it easier to fire bad VA officials and administrators, but not employees who do not remain innocent.
In the Phoenix facility that started this, 18 more veterans whose names were kept off an official appointment list have died according to Griffin. It is not yet known if the deaths are related to the delays.
The delays and the criminal tampering of wait lists appear to be tied to bonuses which were put in place when Shinseki assumed his role as Secretary.