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Texas Hearing to Address Claims of Doctored Wait Times at VA Clinics

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, hosted a press conference on allegations of manipulated wait times at VA clinics in Austin and San Antonio.

On the heels of allegations that VA clinics across the country manipulated wait times, a state senate hearing will ask veterans whether they've struggled to get a timely doctor’s appointment.

Lieutenant Governor candidate and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, says she’s especially troubled by allegations of misrepresented wait times at clinics in San Antonio and Austin. The chair of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, Van de Putte says an independent investigation should take place.

"People responsible need to be held accountable," she says. "These scheduling clerks didn’t just decide to falsify reports all over the country at the same time."

Van de Putte says a hearing in June will not only focus on wait times, but also follow up on a statewide backlog of disabilities claims.

Veteran Bonnie Roman says she tried to reschedule a VA appointment this week, but none were available until July. "And then when you go to the ER the waiting times are very, very long because unless you have a life-threatening condition, you’re gonna have to wait," she says.

Van de Putte says an internal VA review team is visiting Austin this week.

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