Inspector's Report Says No Deaths Related To Long Waits At Phoenix VA
The Department of Veterans Affairs says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix. That goes against allegations by some local VA employees who claimed as many as 40 patients may have died while waiting long periods for treatment.
The investigation was conducted by the VA’s Office of Inspector General, which runs an independent office within the VA.
In a memo addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the investigators said they were "unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the deaths of these veterans.”
The final report has not yet been issued but VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson confirmed the findings in an interview with the Associated Press. However, Gibson said veterans are still waiting too long for care and the agency is working to fix the problem.
The news follows allegations last spring that the VA system had falsified records to cover up delays in health care for veterans. Last month, Congress approved an additional $16 billion to help shore up the VA health care system.