The numbers in the just-released internal audit of the VA are nothing less than staggering.
57,436: The number of veterans across the country that have waited at least 90 days to see a doctor and still did not have an appointment as of May 15.
63,869: The number of veterans the VA says sought to see a doctor over the past 10 years but were never seen.
13%: The percentage of VA schedulers nationwide who were instructed to set up appointments so they were hidden from the agency’s 14-day mandated wait period — meaning those individuals chose to protect the system rather than the veteran.
8%: The percentage of VA schedulers nationwide that kept unofficial lists of patients who were waiting to see doctors and whose care was otherwise delayed.
145: The average number of days new veteran patients were kept waiting to see a doctor at the VA hospital in Hawaii, nearly 100 days longer than what was the delay reported by the facility.
50,000: The number of veteran patients the VA says it has contacted in order to try and get them faster care.
18: The number of veterans the VA acknowledged had died while waiting for care at the Phoenix VA hospital.
The VA released the internal audit amid the ongoing investigation into scheduling and wait times for veterans at its hospitals and clinics nationwide.
According to USA Today, “The audit found instances in which appointments records were altered at 90 VA outpatient clinics. At 24 sites, staffers said ‘they felt threatened or coerced to enter’ false appointment dates by superiors. In a statement Monday, the VA said ‘where appropriate, [it] will initiate the process of removing senior leaders.’ ”
In the wake of the report, 21 Democratic and Republican senators have called on the FBI to investigate the scandal for criminal wrongdoing.