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Sen. Udall calls for VA investigation

Updated: 05/20/2014 6:59 PM | Created: 05/20/2014 11:37 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Tensions continue to surround the Department of Veteran Affairs scandal and one whistleblower claims Albuquerque is also involved.

According to The Daily Beast, the whistleblower doctor accused Albuquerque's VA hospital of keeping a "secret waiting list" to hide delays for veterans seeking medical care.

The doctor told The Daily Beast that the list was either moved or destroyed after allegations of falsified wait times and staff cover-ups came out against the VA hospital in Phoenix.

In a statement sent to KOB Eyewitness News 4, an Albuquerque VA hospital spokesperson writes: "We were unfamiliar with these allegations. We take any allegations very seriously. We are in the process of ordering an external review."

Sen. Tom Udall has called for an investigation into VA facilities in New Mexico. The state is part of the same Veterans Integrated Service Network as the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Udall says VA hospital workers nationwide have been receiving bonuses for reaching mandated goals for scheduling. To combat potential problems, Udall wrote an appropriation bill to temporarily halt the bonus program. 

The bill still needs to be passed, but Udall says it's a start.

"We have to be assertive, we have to have accountability, we have to move as quickly as we can on this," he said.

The VA Inspector General is considering a wide-scale investigation into Albuquerque's facility.

Have you experienced a long wait time at the Albuquerque VA hospital? Contact KOB at news@kob.com or (505)-764-2453. 


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