CT Lawmakers demand info on state VA facilities

Washington – The entire Connecticut delegation sent a  letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday requesting information from a nationwide audit of VA facilities that pertain to hospitals and clinics in Connecticut.

“Although we have spoken with officials in Connecticut who have assured us that no problems were found with wait times during a recent national level inspection, we believe all our state’s medical facilities must be included in the ongoing audit and the results be made public promptly,” the delegation letter said. “We respectfully request full details of this audit, and specifically all details regarding the accuracy and duration of reported wait times for appointments at the West Haven Campus, Newington Campus and all six Community Based Outpatient Clinics located in Connecticut.

Shinseki is expected to present preliminary results of the audit to President Obama next week.

The audit, and a separate inspector general investigation into the veterans’ medical system, was touched off by reports that hospitals in Arizona and Colorado had falsified documents to hide long wait times for care. The delays may have resulted in the deaths of some veterans.

“After startling allegations regarding delayed care and falsified records at VA facilities made earlier this month, it is of utmost importance that the people’s faith in the VA, including our local VA hospitals, be restored,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said “the more I learn of misconduct and impropriety at VA facilities around the country involving falsified wait lists and widespread treatment delays potentially causing deaths and injuries , the more concerned and outraged I become.”

About Ana Radelat

Ana is a longtime Washington correspondent who has won numerous awards, including from The Associated Press and Gannett, has written for more than a dozen newspapers, including USAToday; The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger; the Shreveport (La.) Times; and the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. She’s also been a regular contributor to other publications, including the Miami Herald and Advertising Age. Some of the stories Ana has broken focused on the strategies of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Sen. Trent Lott’s fall from power and questionable Hurricane Katrina contracts. A regular contributor to WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio, a partner of The Mirror, Ana is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism. E-mail her at aradelat@ctmirror.org.

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