|White Mountain Democrats||Little Colorado Democrats|
Kirkpatrick Calls For Additional VA Audit, Criminal Probe
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., called for further and more detailed investigation of the Veterans Administration, especially the VA Hospital in Prescott.
“In May, I requested a nationwide audit of VA medical facilities, and today, the VA has released its initial findings," Kirkpatrick said in a statement. "Based on the disturbing findings in today’s report, I am calling for a more in-depth audit of facilities flagged as problematic, including the one in Prescott that serves so many of our northern Arizona veterans. I ask the Inspector General to engage immediately with the Prescott VA to investigate wrongdoing and determine if a criminal investigation is needed.
"I also continue to call for an audit of every VA medical facility, not just the larger ones reflected in this initial phase. It’s important to examine smaller VA facilities and local clinics to ensure that veterans in our rural areas are not suffering from delayed care or corrupt scheduling practices. The VA must not let up – we expect nothing less than a persistent, dedicated effort to rebuild this broken system on a foundation of transparency and accountability.”
Key points from audit
· The audit was conducted in two phases and covered 731 facilities, including 140 parent facilities and all VA Medical Centers. More than 3,772 staffers were interviewed.
· More than 57,000 VA patients nationwide are still waiting for their first appointments after waiting for at least 90 days.
· Another 64,000 veterans who enrolled in the VA health-care system over the past decade have never had appointments.
· In Arizona, the Prescott VA was among the facilities flagged for further review and investigation.
Kirkpatrick is Arizona’s representative on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is the Ranking Member of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. In March, she was the first member of Congress to bring the Phoenix VA allegations to the Inspector General. In April, she and the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., formally announced that their committee will hold hearings on the Phoenix VA allegations after the Office of Inspector General completes its investigation. And in May, she requested a nationwide audit of all VA medical facilities.
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