Veterans health care in Central Alabama is in the spotlight on Capitol Hill again.
On Wednesday, Representative Martha Roby called out the Director of the Central Alabama VA in a speech on the House floor.
"What has transpired in my hometown of Montgomery and Central Alabama, rises to a level of misconduct and mistrust I'm not sure many other systems can match," Roby said.
Roby went into detail about what she calls mismanagement, negligence and cover up at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
"A Montgomery VA pulmonologist manipulated more than 1,200 patient records to show test that never occurred," Roby said. "At least 900 unread patient X-RAY tests, many showing malignancies, were lost over a five year period. More than 57 percent of staff surveyed at Central Alabama said they receive "instruction" to manipulate patient wait times. 57 percent."
Roby says it was revealed in early June that the Central Alabama VA had one of the worst wait times in country, particularly for mental health patients.
"I actually met with our local VA director who acknowledged the discrepancies and tried to reassure me by leading me to believe that action had been taken to remove those responsible," Roby said. "It turns out that wasn't true. No one was fired. Mr. Speaker, if a Member of Congress can't get a straight answer from the VA, imagine what our veterans go through every single day."
"There's clearly a systemic problem in Montgomery, and it needs to be corrected."
WSFA 12 News reached out to the Montgomery facility, and requested an interview with the director in response to the latest allegations. He was not available to go on camera on Wednesday, but his office told us it would work up a written statement. We have not yet received that statement.
The House, on Wednesday, passed the Veterans' Access to Care Act that would Increase and enhance access to local doctors/providers, and increase accountability. It now goes to the senate for a vote.
Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.