Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson Visits Phoenix

By Carrie Jung
Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 4:25pm
Updated: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 4:30pm
(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Sloan Gibson, addresses the press after visiting with medical center staff and administrators.

Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson was in Phoenix on Thursday, visiting with staff and administrators of the local VA Medical Center. He announced steps to reform a system that’s been troubled with accusations of delayed care and manipulated data.

This was Gibson's first field visit since taking over for Eric Shinseki. He says he’ll release the wait time data from all VA medical centers on Monday as well as a field audit covering hundreds of other locations.

Gibson also says that his staff reached out to each of the 1,700 Arizona vets who had been left off official VA waiting lists. He says 18 of those vets have died.

This is not what our veterans deserve," said Gibson. "This will not stand. I will not be part of some effort to maintain the status quo here.”

Gibson could not confirm their deaths were related to delayed care. But he says waiting for any extended time is unacceptable.

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