More allegations against Central Alabama VA - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

More allegations against Central Alabama VA

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(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

There are new details surrounding the ongoing issues with Veteran Affairs hospitals, in particular the system right here in Alabama.

Congresswoman Martha Roby has continued to investigate the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. Roby spoke with WSFA 12 News about the latest findings. She calls the problems at the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA hospitals appalling.

"We have a great state. It's the reason why so many veterans come back here to retire because they love our state and they love our communities. What a tremendous disservice to them and their families to have this type of egregious malfeasance, malpractice and mismanagement happening right here in our community," Roby said.

Roby says 900 plus X-ray tests were lost and went unread and top hospital administrators tried to cover it up.

In a report released by the Office of Special Counsel, more than 1,200 pulmonary patients' records were manipulated to show tests that never occurred. The pulmonologist that stands accused, at last check, is still employed.

There are also more than 440 local VA staff positions that have gone unfilled, yet on the website only 38 job openings are listed.

"No wonder Alabama has one of the worst veterans healthcare systems in the entire country," Roby said.

The congresswoman says although at times it may be difficult to attract physicians and fill other positions, she doesn't think it's a money issue.

"Since 2010 the VA nationwide has not spent $4 billion. So to state that this is a funding problem I don't believe is correct," Roby said. "Because of all of these openings, the VA should be working to get those funds...so we can fill those positions."

WSFA 12 News reached out to the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System for a response to these recent findings. We have called and emailed throughout the day, but have yet to hear from anyone. We will continue to look into the allegations and when we receive a response we will report those to you.

Congress is still considering legislation aimed to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Senate and House are trying to work out their differences in the two bills. House Republicans like Martha Roby want more accountability measures and streamlined access to local private care, while Senate Democrats are pushing for more funding. Efforts to reach a final agreement will resume this week, and lawmakers are hopeful the bill will be passed by the end of the month.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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