BREAKING: Top U.S. Veterans Health Care Official Resigns Amid Scandal

Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying before a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on VA health care, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 15, 2014. REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST

(Reuters) – The top health official at the Department of Veterans Affairs resigned on Friday amid a growing scandal about healthcare delays that has also seen calls for the ouster of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Shinseki, in a statement, said he accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the VA’s undersecretary for health who had already been expected to retire, and acknowledged the need to ensure more timely treatment of America’s military veterans.

“As we know from the veteran community, most veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care,” Shinseki said.

He stopped short of blaming Petzel for delays, however, and did not explicitly say why Petzel resigned. In a statement last September, the VA said Petzel already had planned to retire in 2014 and it was taking steps to find candidates to replace him.

Two VA officials declined to elaborate on the reasons for Petzel’s resignation.

Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas said it was not a surprise given his coming departure and accused the VA of doing “damage control.” Moran, who has called for Shinseki’s resignation, added Petzel “should not shoulder the blame for VA’s failure.”

“Action should be taken immediately to change the bureaucratic culture of mediocrity at the VA,” Moran said in a statement issued by his office.

Petzel’s resignation came a day after he appeared alongside Shinseki at a hearing about accusations that VA medical facilities in Phoenix covered up long wait times for patients, including 40 who died while awaiting care…(read more)

Reuters

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by David AlexanderDavid Lawder and Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Bill Trott and Diane Craft)


One Comment on “BREAKING: Top U.S. Veterans Health Care Official Resigns Amid Scandal”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addresses reporters after testifying […]


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