Top VA health official resigns amid firestorm of complaints

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki  (MGN Online)
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (MGN Online)
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Updated: 5/16 2:09 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top official for veterans health care has resigned amid a firestorm over long appointment waits, treatment delays and falsified records at VA hospitals.

Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki says he has accepted the resignation of Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health care at the VA. It comes the day after both men were grilled by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Whistleblowers say there were efforts to cover up the deaths of up to 40 veterans while they were awaiting appointments at the department's giant medical center in Phoenix.

Shinseki says most vets are satisfied with the quality of care they get, but more must be done to "improve timely access to that care."

Petzel announced in September he planned to retire in 2014.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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AZCowgirl - 5/16/2014 2:54 PM
0 Votes
It's unfortunate that articles like these are deceiving the general public. Most people probably didn't know that Dr. Petzel announced his retirement in September, 2013. They have been looking for his replacement since the end of last year...so this isn't new news. It's a way for our corrupt government to make the general public think they are doing something.

oldguyincc - 5/16/2014 2:24 PM
0 Votes
1958-1964. What if the politicians read vietnamvet25's article? Would they wear hair shirts? Would they beat their breasts and moan? I doubt it. Wars have been called the "failure of diplomacy." I say that they are the direct result of politics. The U.S. Congress needs war in order to continue their campaign financing arrangements.

vietnamvet25 - 5/16/2014 1:55 PM
1 Vote
I have been in the VA health care system for many years and I have never had any problem getting appointments. The care and professionalism and the attitude of the staff at the Reno VA is above and beyond what you get in a non VA facility. I think there may be some management problems at some facilities that caused this to surface, or it may be some political hunt But when you have a system as large as the VA medical care there are going to be some folks that don't want to play by the rules. To demand the resignation of secretary is a really far stretch to solve a problem that could be done with some termination of some folks that were in the facilities that were involved. It seems that these expert legislators know better how to run it. If they would stop the stone walling of funding to the VA and realize that they are the ones funding the wars we are in that create the higher demand for service as our young warriors come home there might not be a long wait for appointments or any of the other accusations that have been made. We are at a point in time when the Viet nam vets are reaching an age that will make them more in need of medical care I am 70 and was an early deployment to Viet Nam (63) If you create a war then you must factor in the care it will take for the men who served and any and all expenses that entails
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