U.S. veterans health probe confirms cover-up of care delays

Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy David Lawder, Roberta Rampton and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Calls for U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign grew louder on Wednesday as the agency’s inspector general confirmed “systemic” and widespread VA scheduling abuses to cover up long wait times for veterans’ healthcare. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ internal watchdog is probing manipulation of appointment data at 42 VA medical centers, up from 26 last week, it said in an interim report on allegations of secret waiting lists. The office said it has confirmed that “inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic” throughout the Veterans Health Administration. The report confirmed allegations that staff at VA medical facilities in Phoenix significantly understated months-long wait times for healthcare appointments for veterans.

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