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Doctor accuses VA hospital staff of delaying patient care

Doctor Accuses VA Hospital Staff Of Delaying Patient Care

A former hospital employee in Phoenix has accused staff members of having a secret waiting list for patient care. Now, three executives for the city's Veterans Affairs Health Care System, including a hospital director, are on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Dr. Samuel Foote, who worked at the hospital, says delayed care led to more than 40 deaths and the hospital is doing the right thing by putting the employees on leave.


"There is quite a tangled web that has been weaved. It's going to take the IG a while to sort through all that, but I think they are getting excellent input from the staff."

Foote told KPHO he has physical proof he has shared with the inspector general's office, but he can't show his information to reporters while the investigation is ongoing.

But, after an internal investigation, the head of veteran health services at the VA says it hasn't turned up any evidence of a secret list or deaths due to delayed care. Foote is still backing what he has said before. KSAZ reports, "I don't know how he can possibly make that statement. There is a mountain of evidence on that subject sitting on the IG desk in Phoenix, and it's growing larger every single day."

Along with Foote's allegations, the hospital's medical director, Dr. Katherine Mitchell, told The Arizona Republic the VA hospital has had problems with being understaffed in the past.

"I was afraid that a patient would die because I could not get to them fast enough. I did not have the resources. ... Unless we had additional staffing ... the ER would be too dangerous to continue, and we should be shut down immediately."

So far, no comment from any of the employees who are on administrative leave.


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crowland503 May 02 2014 at 7:32 PM

The problem with the U.S, Government is it doesn't punish senior Department Directors who are in charge. The VA, BLM, GSA, and DOI Directors are ultimately responsible for everything done, or not done, under their watch. But the partying, womanizing, waste of tax payer's money, and corruption had a field day at the time the economy nose-dived; and it still has not recovered. Hell, the IRS gave themselves a big shindig, broke the law, and expected to receive fat bonuses after many of them did not pay their own taxes! Time to replace the IRS altogether; it has unjust powers that fail the rights of every legalized American. The politicians, if any honest ones left, need to clean-up this mess.

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1 reply
oconnellnotary crowland503 May 02 2014 at 8:50 PM

duh.. CROWLAND 505 this PERTAINS TO VETERANS NOT THE IRS . THANKS FOR THE CONSIDERATION

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1 reply
crowland503 oconnellnotary May 02 2014 at 9:54 PM

Thank you for recognizing how the Government has failed to properly managed the various Departments as a whole! The wasted, or unneeded, money from the other Departments could have helped improve the VA facilities ad hire more people to provide the services required. A better system could have fired the person at the Spokane (Washington) VA, instead of this person being handed off to somebody else, then 40 Veterans might be alive today. Only until elected politicians start doing their job, then expect the continued "fraud, waste, and abuse" pissed upon every legalized American!

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veterian74 May 02 2014 at 8:54 PM

Just wait until Obamacare gets going, you will be waiting months to get help!

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2 replies
RXTOXICWASTE veterian74 May 02 2014 at 9:47 PM

You won't even get it.

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Sunshine veterian74 May 02 2014 at 10:03 PM

Obama care was an alternate plan to the Clinton Health care plan delveloped by the Heritage Foundation, wich was a think tank founded by the Koch Brothers, for Bob Dole. It was sucessfully brought about in Massachusetts for Governor Romney. It was based on the Federal Employee Health Care plan which has worked for decades for Civil Service workers like me. A retired Master Sargent with the Air National Guard technician program.

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Arthur May 02 2014 at 9:11 PM

I get great care at the NY Health Harbor VAMC in Manhattan, NY. My PCP is wonderful and saved my life.

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1 reply
straight2spam Arthur May 02 2014 at 10:04 PM

I`d never ever had a problem at the BX VA Hosp. for the last 40yrs.Dr. Lee female my respect to her and the nurses staff.

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Patty May 02 2014 at 9:39 PM

I am a viet nam vet, and almost died due to the VA denial of heart surgery and they told me if I went outside the VA I needed to be prepared to pay for it myself. I did go out side the VA and had the surgery and today is my 1 year anniversary. I am still alive. Had I done what the VA told me to do I would have come home and died.

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3 replies
AsianPlanet May 02 2014 at 9:44 PM

This happens in private hospitals, private nursing homes, hospice care centers all over the United States. You get what you pay for. The problem in elder care is extremely low salaries /hourly wages and lack of expertise. In private hospitals it is often massively over worked health care staff, particularly nurses.

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RXTOXICWASTE May 02 2014 at 9:49 PM

Send those hospitlal workers to war, then when they killed or wounded deny them any help....********

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1 reply
straight2spam RXTOXICWASTE May 02 2014 at 10:01 PM

Liked.

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1 reply
captpanacea straight2spam May 03 2014 at 12:46 AM

When the Lab Tech at the DALLAS VA lab dropped items on the floor and proceeded with the proceedure , I requested she change her gloves, not , I had to seek the supervisor, Great care Dallas VA, its called infection control Just ask the Director of Medicene who spoke out about the substandard care at Dallas VA.and chose to terminate his service do to substandard care given to veterans

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lschck May 02 2014 at 9:51 PM

REMEMBER FOLKS THIS IS ARIZ, LAND OF THE TEA PARTY REPUNLICAN CRIMINALS AND I WOULD BET THE DIRECTOR IS A TEA PARTY REPUBLICAN. I HAVE MY OWN STORY TO TELL AND I USED THIS HOSP FOR AWHILE. THE LAS VEGAS ONE IS EVEN WORSE. ALOT OF REPUBLICAN SCAMS GOIING ON WITHIN THE VA WITH THEIR EFFORTS TO DESTROY IT ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE. IF YOU VOTE THESE KOCH PUPPETS INTO OFFICE YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE AND WILL BE SORRY FOR WHAT YOU DID TO VETS. IF THE RICH KOCH TYPE REPUBLICANS CAN,T MAKE A BUCK FROM IT , THEY DON,T WANT IT. I HOPE THE VOTING PUBLIC SEES THIS.

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2 replies
HIGHPOWER lschck May 02 2014 at 10:23 PM

This is going on in every state you uninformed clueless idiot. This is a preview of Obama care.

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Teri lschck May 02 2014 at 10:48 PM

First of all, as a 100% Disabled Vet, I am telling you, you don't know your ass from your elbow. THE DEMOCRATS are the ONLY ones who have EVER SCREWED the Military over, the REPUBLICANS are the ones that take care of US an try not to give EVERYTHING AWAY to the LAZY on welfare and Immigrants who pay NOTHING into our system. So, until you know what you're talking about, I'd be quiet. It's better to be THOUGHT a FOOL, then to SPEAK and remove ALL DOUBT!!!

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1 reply
MICHAEL Teri May 03 2014 at 4:57 AM

Very well said !

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Sunshine May 02 2014 at 9:53 PM

The Defense department which includes the VA was subject to the budget sequester and if you check the Ryan Budget there is more cut to all support functions of the US government including the VA. This has made the task by VA head Gen Shinseki to decrease the wait times for veterans very onerous. He was making sugnificant inprovements towards his goal but the sequestor set back a large part of the progress. When Congress found out the sequestor would affect FAA air trafic control delaying their flights they corrected the problem by providing funds by passing a law to fully fund the FAA air trafic control. They refused to the same for the veterans and the VA.

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1 reply
Lisa Sunshine May 02 2014 at 10:09 PM

VA, military retirees; these are people who signed contracts with their blood, either actual or implied (just because they survived their career, doesn't mean they weren't willing to do whatever was needed). Congress should not be able to change the US government's end of the bargain... Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Coast Guardsmen and Airmen are not allowed to just walk away from their end.

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1 reply
rondonit Lisa May 02 2014 at 10:45 PM

Please Vote that way. The "Good Lord Giveth" and Congress can take it away. Please remind America once the battles are over, Soldiers require Maintenance to allow them to continue too. An opportunity to attempt and Good Faith attempts at healing our wounds is what we really ask, nothing more.

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tcous13974 May 02 2014 at 9:56 PM

This is just the begining. Welcome to whats to come With Obamacare. First the Vets then Medicaide. It is called death panels.

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1 reply
beryl1234 tcous13974 May 02 2014 at 10:20 PM

tcous13974 VA care is part of the Department of Defense. It has NOTHING to do with Obamacare! They've been doing such things for many, many, years!

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1 reply
raynesgroup beryl1234 May 02 2014 at 11:42 PM

I believe what tcous13974 is referring to is the money being allocated to the VA for the care of the wounded veterans. That funding has been cut, as has the money for Medicare coverage - Obamacare had to get the money from somewhere ......

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Larry Anderson May 02 2014 at 9:59 PM

If appointment usually don't wait more then an hour, BUT a clinic, where all are given the same time frame, easily wait 3 to 6 hours. Emergency is easily long on every occation! Often takes months to get an appointment. I had an operation schedualed for my foot, service connected injuries, at last moment cancelled as directives were not to provide that operation, offered special shoes, that was then put off, so I had inserts that help as long as no long walks, standing, etc. BUDGET restraints! Waiting routine, months for appointment, pharmacy and wait for follow up. Given appt with primary care @ 6 mo. BUT, am grateful to have any help, retirement can't afford more. Conditions getting harder with new todays combat vets! MORE demand and no matching funds with them. Things were really bad in the 70's and 80's, horror stories! Best Under Reagan, began to be treated human! Really started dropping with Clinton and now, headed back to the 70's where no respect, derision and cut in care.

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