Foster Statement on the Resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki
Washington, DC -- Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) released the following statement on the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
“Like many others, I was outraged and dismayed by the findings in the VA Inspector General’s preliminary report and reports that VA hospitals falsified waiting lists,” said Foster. “Any individuals who gave the instructions to hide appointment requests outside of the computer system must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – particularly if the resulting waits for medical care lead to the death of a veteran.”
"Secretary Shinseki did the right thing by stepping down, and I look forward to reviewing the report the President has demanded, but I want action now. I support immediately reforming the system for granting bonuses for administrators who reduce backlogs, as that appears to have been an incentive to cheat and cover-up these unforgivable delays in caring for our veterans."
In response to concerns raised by constituents who are veterans about their treatment at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Congressman Foster sent a letter on May 8th to Director Joan Ricard requesting assurances that all data regarding appointment requests and wait times are being consistently and accurately entered into the computer systems at the hospital and its satellite clinics. The letter also requested information on what proactive measures Director Ricard is taking to verify that appointment and wait time data are being reported consistently and accurately.
A copy of the letter is available here.