Shinseki: VA Has 'Systemic' Problems
He moves to fire senior leaders of Phoenix hospital
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 30, 2014 8:48 AM CDT
This May 15, 2014 file photo shows Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifying on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

(Newser) – Eric Shinseki has begun the process to fire the senior leaders of the infamous Phoenix VA medical center, he announced today, as he apologized for his department's lapses. When the crisis broke, Shinseki said he believed the problem was isolated. "I no longer believe that. It is systemic," he said. "I can't explain the lack of integrity among some of the leaders of our health care facilities." Shinseki has also ordered that senior VA executives receive no performance bonuses this year, and that patient wait times be deleted from employees' performance evaluations.

That last move is significant, because the inspector general's report cited evaluation reports as a potential motive for sweeping waiting veterans under the rug. "Bonuses are tied directly to the waiting times of the veterans," the chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee tells the New York Times, so managers pressured low-level employees to drive figures down. As in his op-ed yesterday, Shinseki didn't sound like a man who was about to step down, despite mounting calls for him to do so. President Obama said in an interview last night that he would have a "serious conversation" with Shinseki today about whether he was the best person for the job, CNN reports.

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Showing 3 of 51 comments
IronmanREV3
May 30, 2014 11:03 AM CDT
People of the United States of America, General Shinseki was Fired by President Obama,Shinseki was talking to a Homeless Veterans Group (No Veteran should be Homeless).That's a huge failure in itself for this Administration.Shinseki said the problem can be fixed,well it looks like President Barack Hussein Obama is going to approach fixing it with someone else.??
farleyj1
May 30, 2014 10:25 AM CDT
It sucks he resigned the ones who should be held accountable are the VARO managers the VAMC Managers Congress and Senate. Thanks congress once again.This has been going on since President Regan Plus the VAOIG when they inspect cover up VA problems suprised the did not do it this time read some of their past inspections. Out raged veteran. Another ploy to gelay veterans claims for service connection disabilities. It sucks when you have to take the VA to court to get a decision on your case because the VA screw it up IDIOTS. The republicans are going to use this for their own politica agenda watch when it comes funding time
fred lapides
May 30, 2014 10:24 AM CDT
HERE IS WHEN THE VA MESS BEGAN