On June 9, the Department of Veterans Affairs released the results of a nationwide audit that examined problems surrounding access to care for millions of America’s veterans.
According to the report, schedulers at 76 percent of VA facilities had engaged in the practice of misreporting appointment requests to hide long waiting lists for veterans seeking care. Thirteen percent of scheduling staff interviewed said that they had received direct instruction from supervisors or others to falsify medical appointment records.
The audit found that 57,000 veterans nationwide are waiting for care. In San Antonio alone, 837 veterans are on wait lists. Last week, I spoke with a veteran who has been waiting more than two years for oral surgery. This is inexcusable. America’s veterans deserve the best care possible, as soon as possible.
I recently met with Secretary Sloan Gibson to discuss what the VA is doing to help San Antonio veterans who are stuck on long waiting lists. I was reassured that he sincerely wants to fix the problem. And I appreciate that he is taking seriously the new allegations of misconduct at Audie Murphy Memorial Hospital in my district. Further review at Audie Murphy Hospital is needed to help make sure that San Antonio veterans get the care they need and deserve.
America’s veterans have made tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms. They deserve the best health care, not delayed health care. I am committed to continuing to fight to ensure that San Antonio veterans have the best care that our nation can provide.
U.S. Rep. LAMAR SMITH
LAMAR SMITH, a San Antonio Republican, represents Texas’ 21st Congressional District, which includes parts of the corridor counties of Bexar, Comal, Hays and Travis Counties as well as Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, Bandera and Real counties in the Texas Hill Country.