The Veterans Affairs hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. was accused Sunday of keeping secret waiting lists to conceal wait times endured by veterans seeking medical care.
A whistleblower told the Daily Beast of specific examples of excessive waiting times for veteran care in Albuquerque. The news comes a month after revelations about a VA hospital in Phoenix where up to 40 deaths occurred as a result of delayed care.
Reports the Daily Beast:
Last month, word broke that the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix kept a secret waiting list that allegedly led to dozens of preventable deaths. The VA’s inspector general was brought in to investigate the charges and hasn’t yet found any deaths in Phoenix linked to wait times, but his investigation is ongoing. Since then five other facilities have come under fire, leading to calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. And now there’s Albuquerque’s. The evidence for this new secret list may be hard to track down, however.
“The ‘secret wait list’ for patient appointments is being either moved or was destroyed after what happened in Phoenix,” according to a doctor who works at the Albuquerque VA hospital and spoke exclusively with The Daily Beast. “Right now,” the doctor said, “there is an eight-month waiting list for patients to get ultrasounds of their hearts. Some patients have died before they got their studies. It is unknown why they died, some for cardiac reasons, some for other reasons.”