VA inspector general denies allegations linked to patient deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) – The internal watchdog at the Department of Veterans Affairs says new complaints about long wait lists and falsified patient appointment reports have surfaced at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. But Richard Griffin, the department’s acting inspector general, says there’s no proof so far that delays in treatment have caused any patient’s death.

Griffin testified Thursday before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Earlier Thursday, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told the panel he was “mad as hell” about allegations of severe problems and said he’s looking for quick results from a nationwide audit. He rejected calls for him to resign and a senator’s suggestion that he call in the FBI to investigate.

Shinseki told the committee he hopes to have preliminary results within three weeks on audits he ordered at the VA’s 150 medical centers and 820 community outpatient clinics nationwide in an effort to determine how widespread treatment delays and falsified reports are.

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