Deputy head of VA to visit Tucson

Deputy head of VA to visit Tucson

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson will visit Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson on Monday to meet with VA leadership, employees, congressional representatives, veterans' groups and other stakeholders to discuss access to care, the agency said.

The visit comes as the Department of Veterans Affairs is still dealing with the fallout of a scandal over dishonest scheduling practices and dangerously long wait times for veterans seeking care, spawned by allegations about the Phoenix VA Health Care System two years ago.

The Tucson VA hospital also has been criticized for long patient wait times. Last month a report released by the veterans agency’s Office of Inspector General confirmed whistleblower complaints that some employees were prompted to falsify wait-time records in 2013 and 2014.

Local VA officials have said an investigation is under way, and procedures have been changed and staff added to prevent records manipulation and improve care. 

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