Top VA health official resigns under fire

Veterans Administration
Top VA health official resigns under fire

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top official for the health care of veterans resigned Friday amid a firestorm over reported delays in care and falsified records at veterans hospitals.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said he has accepted the resignation of Robert Petzel, the department’s undersecretary for health care, effective immediately. Shinseki had asked for the resignation, a department official later said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution.

Reports of long waits for appointments and processing benefit applications have plagued VA for years. The agency has shortened backlogs but allegations that veterans have died while awaiting VA care have created an election-year uproar. A former clinic director at the VA’s medical center in Phoenix told a House committee last month that up to 40 people may have died while awaiting appointments and that VA officials kept a secret appointment list to mask the delays.

Shinseki asked the VA’s inspector general to investigate the clinic director’s charges. An initial review of 17 people who died while awaiting appointments at the Phoenix hospital found that none of their deaths appeared to have been caused by delays in treatment, acting inspector general Richard Griffin told senators Thursday. But he also said new complaints about wait lists and falsified patient appointment had surfaced at other VA hospitals and clinics after the Phoenix allegations came to light. At least 10 new allegations about manipulated waiting times and other problems have surfaced in the past three weeks, he said. SOURCE

There are a couple of items that I have listed on the Comments and Registration page that I make infinitely clear;

Be advised; no one will be allowed to comment here that comes into this blog and attempts to attack members of the U.S. Military and/or Law Enforcement.

I am NOT naïve, I know that as with any profession there will always be a bad apple or 2 among the *good guys*, but unless a Troop or Police Officer causes me to feel otherwise, I have the greatest respect for what these heroes do in service to their homes, this nation and every citizen in these United States!

That said; I am appalled at the overall treatment our military Veterans receive after they have sacrificed unselfishly, their minds, their bodies, their limbs and in far too many cases, their lives.

I am not blaming just the Obama regime for this lack of care and compassion for our military Veterans; this is something that has gone on for far too long in America.

I am familiar with V.A. abuses and shoddy treatment going back to the early 1970’s when the V.A. Hospital in my home town had a vicious reputation for sending Vets OUT in worse shape than they were when admitted. In far too many cases, they were dead from some of the procedures that they suffered.

This is NOT a topic that I am a stranger to.

I have written about the atrocious *care* our Veterans are subjected to. Here are a few examples from previous posts on The TexasFred Blog.

Obama to Bill Combat Wounded for Medical Care

The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization says he is “deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases. SOURCE

Unsterile equipment used on Miami veterans

MIAMI - Officials say more than 3,000 patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Miami had colonoscopies with equipment that wasn’t properly sterilized. They’ve been told they should be tested for HIV and other diseases. SOURCE

VA links poor care to 19 deaths at Ill. hospital

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Substandard care at a southern Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital may have contributed to 19 deaths over the past two years, a VA official said Monday as he apologized to affected families and pledged reform. SOURCE

VA patient tests positive for HIV after mistakes

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – The Veterans Affairs department says a patient has tested positive for HIV after being exposed to contaminated equipment at a medical facility. SOURCE

The people who have given this nation their best get nothing but the worst from the nation they have served so well.

It seems that somehow, we always have money to help impoverished nations the world over, even our enemies, but we don’t have the money to take care of our military heroes.

Somehow, appalling just isn’t a strong enough word.


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10 Responses to Top VA health official resigns under fire

  1. Alan Caruba says:

    The failure to make good on its promises to those who have fought on behalf of our nation goes all the way back to the Revolutions when payment for their services were often late in coming. We love our soldiers, sailors and airmen when they are needed to defend us or liberate those in other nations, but the Veterans Administration have a long record of sub-par care. The latest revelations call for a complete overhaul of the agency’s culture and procedures.

  2. Wayne says:

    The elected officials who control the budget for the VA are derilect in their duties. Like the children who abuse their parents credit cards, they spend without the thought of ever paying back the creditor. The nation needs more adults in places of authority. Great post Fred.

  3. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    All correct. The VA hasn’t simply suffered under Obama. It’s systemic and I suspect it’s because medical personnel receive sub-par pay as compared to the private sector. I know for a fact that is accurate regarding medical staffing in my department’s jails. I wouldn’t let a corrections nurse or doctor touch me with a 10-foot pole unless I wished an even speedier death.


  4. the unit says:

    Let’s see 36,000 illegal aliens released. And what if they say No, we ain’t going before we get our “good” nurse and doctor services. What? I worked in medical at two county jails in Florida. Yeah, we worked “Just in Time.” You want preventative procedures, better care for jailbirds than you can get?
    Should be no comparison jail and the VA. Sometimes I not so clear, hope I be clear here.

  5. Abigail says:

    “In times of war and not before,
    God and the soldier we adore.
    But in times of peace and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.”

    -Rudyard Kipling
    Nothing changes.

  6. Dick Robie says:

    He was going to retire anyway. Shitski or whatever his name is (VA Sec) should be fired on the spot.

    Another Obama Lie and Scandal.

  7. Abigail says:

    The law of unintended consequences: nursing homes that have contracts for subsidized care from the Veterans Administration become federal contractors. If they refuse to raise their minimum wages because they cannot afford to, to comply with the imperial decree to do so, their VA contracts will not be renewed. Some veterans will be forced out of those nursing homes. Some have families to go to, some do not. When will this story be deemed worthy of mainstream scrutiny?
    Oh the irony. And Saturday was Armed Forces Day.
    Harry Truman pushed for a single day when our nation could join together to thank our military for its services to America. In 1949 the Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of ‘Armed Forces Day’. It replaced separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days after the forces were unified under the Department of Defense.
    Did anyone’s community celebrate this day in any fashion? Did anyone see it even mentioned in the news?
    Unlike in the UK in America it has now become the forgotten holiday. How emblematic.

  8. BobF says:

    Here’s my take for what it’s worth. When General Shinseki too over the VA, he faced something he never faced in his stellar military career and that was a deep rooted entrenched government bureaucracy. The VA was already infested with inefficiency and inferior performance fueled by hundreds of people in key leadership positions. When a new military commander is assigned to a failing unit, the first thing he does is fire all his senior officers and many senior NCO’s in key positions. When Shinseki took over the VA, he couldn’t do this as their are laws and policies preventing this. So, when the General issues directives to get the backlogs taken care of, he still has those who are the epitome of inefficiency and dishonesty in key positions who came up with ways to “cook” the books to make it seem the problem is getting fixed. Most likely, all the reports he got stated the problems were getting taken care of but unfortunately, the complaints of Veterans most likely never reached his office.

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