U.S. Sen. Tom Udall has called for federal authorities to broaden their investigation into alleged secret waiting lists at VA hospitals to include Albuquerque after whistleblower reports that the VA hospital in New Mexico's largest city is plagued with problems.
The Veterans Affairs Department is grappling with allegations of treatment delays, preventable deaths and a cover up by top administrators that were first reported in the VA system in Arizona.
Udall said an appropriations bill making its way through Congress would halt a pay bonus system that may have encouraged VA officials to fudge the number of veterans on healthcare wait lists.
“It looks to us right now,” Udall said, “that the bonus system which provided an incentive to do this type of scheduling was at the heart of the problem.”
Udall said anyone with information about secret waiting lists or problems receiving care at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque should report their experiences to the Office of the Inspector General. The OIG has already started an investigation of the VA hospital in Phoenix.