Justice Department Could Get Involved in VA Hospital Investigation
Published May 18, 2014
The Department Of Veterans Affairs is currently embroiled in a nationwide scandal, in which it appears that employees at several Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country engaged in a long and deceitful program of falsification of records to cover up long delays in patient care. Now, lawmakers are calling for the Justice Department to get involved in the investigation.
According to Republican as well as Democratic lawmakers, the Department Of Justice and the FBI can dedicate the kind of legal resources as well as expertise necessary to understand just how bad the problem is. It now appears that one facility in Phoenix was maintaining two waitlists. The first secret list was designed primarily to show that the facility was in compliance with federal guidelines that specifically set a limit within which a vet should receive care. The second list showed very clearly that patients had to wait for weeks, and months for an appointment. Whistleblowers have claimed that at least 40 service members died at the Phoenix hospital as a result of delayed care.
Currently, the Department Of Veterans Affairs Inspector General is investigating at least 26 facilities to determine whether such cover-ups existed at other facilities across the country too. It is quite clear that there were such problems at other VA hospitals, but the full extent of the cover-ups will emerge once the VA investigation is concluded.
Delays at Veterans Affairs medical facilities has meant that service members, many of them suffering from serious conditions like post traumatic stress disorders, brain trauma, mental illness and all kinds of other injuries, are made to wait inordinately long periods of time for medical care. These long delays place these veterans at risk of serious injury or even death.