VA Delays Not Linked to Veteran Deaths

    The Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center is pictured in Phoenix, Arizona June 11, 2014. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents will investigate allegations of wrongdoing at an Arizona office of the Veterans Affairs department that became a political problem for President Barack Obama and forced the VA chief to resign. On Monday, the VA released an internal audit that found more than 100,000 veterans were subjected to a wait of 90 days or more for healthcare appointments, and widespread instances of schemes to mask the delays to meet targets for bonuses. REUTERS/Samantha Sais (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY HEALTH CRIME LAW)

    Samantha Sais/REUTERS

    A report conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general’s office found no evidence to support the claim that 40 veterans died as a result of delays at a veterans medical center in Phoenix. A letter from new VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald to the inspector general stated “O.I.G. was unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely, quality care caused the deaths of these veterans.” The allegations over the deaths led to a national scandal that resulted in the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and a $15 billion federal overhaul of the VA medical system. “I’m relieved that they didn’t attribute deaths to delays in care, but it doesn’t excuse what was happening,” said deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan D. Gibson. “It’s still patently clear there was misbehavior masking how long veterans were waiting for care.”

    Read it at The New York Times