San Antonio State Sen. and Lieutenant Governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte says it is time for the state to take a 'closer look' at allegations of falsifying records at the North Central Federal Clinic Veterans Administration facility in San Antonio, News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
"It is just unacceptable for veterans to be waiting forever, to be told no, no, no, and then to cook the books to make it look better," Van de Putte said. "No, that's just not acceptable."
The San Antonio facility has been drawn into a growing scandal surround the Department of Veterans Affairs involving making veterans wait months for an appointment, and then VA employees would create a second set of records to make it appear that the veterans were granted an appointment within a week after they asked for the appointment.
The Phoenix VA hospital has placed several employees on leave after a Congressional committee was told of long waits which resulted in numerous deaths there. The San Antonio allegations were raised by a whistleblower and have not been investigated.
But Van De Putte says the claims need to be taken seriously.
"I know, as a pharmacist for 33 years, that it is important to have those visits to the clinic on a regular basis, so you don't have the complications," she said.
Bob Murdoch, a retired Air Force General who now heads San Antonio's military affairs department, says he is a frequent patient at the clinic in question, and he has never noticed any problems.
"Personally, I am not aware of any issues, nor am I aware of anybody who has had an issue," Murdock told 1200 WOAI news.
But Murdock says allegations of this nature need to be investigated.
"Any time our citizens are not receiving the appropriate care, I think that is an issue of concern," he said.
Allegations of long waits and falsification of documents at VA centers has taken on new urgency because VA clinics are operated by the federal government, which is absorbing much of the civilian health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Opponents of Obamacare have pointed to the VA situation as proof of their contention that the result of more government control over health care will be lengthy waits for treatment, and fraudulent care.