From The Sun-Times: US Senators Kirk and Durbin Pressing VA In Wake of Hines Scandal

Sen. Mark Kirk
Sen. Mark Kirk || Obtained from (AP File Photo).

Thursday, May 22, 2014 || Lynn Sweet, The Chicago Sun-Times

WASHINGTON–Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. is pressing the Veterans Administration to probe allegegations of delays and book cooking at the Hines VA hospital near Maywood as Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill. on Thursday meets with embattled VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in his Capitol Office.

Below, letter Sen. Kirk sent to the VA Acting Inspector General….

May 21, 2014

Richard J. Griffin

Acting Inspector General

Department of Veterans Affairs

Office of Inspector General (50)

810 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20420

Dear Mr. Griffin,

Thank you for your prompt reply and decision to open an investigation into allegations of manipulated wait times at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Maywood, Illinois.  I have spoken to Secretary Shinseki personally and asked that in addition to the Hines VA, all Illinois VA hospitals be investigated to ensure that no Illinois veteran is being denied proper and timely care.  I appreciate the opportunity to work closely with you as this matter proceeds.

In addition to specific concerns about manipulated appointment waiting times and duplicate wait lists, I ask that your office investigate allegations that veterans at the Hines VA facility were provided informational briefings and general consultations in lieu of medical care in order to meet the VA’s mandated fourteen-day window for appointments. My office recently received additional reports that veterans seen within the fourteen-day window were sometimes not able to see a doctor, and instead met in-group consultation/informational sessions without actually receiving medical care.


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