WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized to all veterans and the nation for scandal involving the systemic delay of health care to veterans at VA hospitals across the country.
He also vowed to fire leaders at a Phoenix VA hospital where a VA inspector general investigation showed that 1,700 veterans were removed from any official list and kept waiting for appointments, some for up to six months or longer.
Investigators linked these delays with efforts by hospital personnel, at Phoenix and other VA medical facilities. to improve their performance records on wait times.
In remarks Friday, Shinseki said he was shocked by this evidence of a loss in integrity, admitted that he failed to see this was happening and said he would provide no bonuses to any medical directors in the 150-hospital system this year.
A former Army chief of staff, Shinseki has been under fire since the scandal surfaced, and members of Congress from both parties have called for him to resign. He is scheduled to meet later Friday with President Obama.