Senate Veterans’ Panel to Hold Hearing on Phoenix VA Center After Independent Probe

BURLINGTON, Vt., April 24 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said today that the panel will hold a hearing on allegations of patient neglect at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix after the VA inspector general completes an independent investigation.

In a letter to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sanders (I-Vt.) said he shares their concern about serious allegations involving the VA hospital in Phoenix. “I am troubled when I hear that any veteran may have received substandard service from VA. We, as a nation, have a commitment to provide timely, quality health care to veterans, and I am determined to assist VA in meeting this responsibility.”

Sanders said he had urged the inspector general to expedite an investigation already underway in Phoenix. “I have urged them to move their investigation forward as quickly as possible. I am sure that you will agree with me that an objective inquiry into these allegations is necessary before holding a hearing on this issue.  In other words, we have got to know what the facts are,” the letter said.

“Once the IG collects additional information, we can engage in a more informed deliberation on the allegations in Phoenix. You have requested a hearing on this issue and I will commit to holding a hearing once the IG’s inquiry is complete,” Sanders wrote in the letter to McCain and Flake.

“I look forward to working with you to ensure that VA health care is among the best in the nation – our veterans need and deserve that assurance,” Sanders added.

To read the letter, click here.