Top Veterans Official Resigns Amid Claims of Poor Care - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Top Veterans Official Resigns Amid Claims of Poor Care

Posted: Updated:
BY JON SCHUPPE, NBC News

A top official in charge of veterans health care stepped down Friday, the first head to roll in a growing scandal over delayed and substandard care at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Undersecretary Robert Petzel submitted his resignation a day after he and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki were grilled by federal lawmakers over allegations of long wait times, substandard care, and falsified records at VA medical centers around the country.

In one case, a whistleblower has alleged that up to 40 veterans died while awaiting appointments in a VA facility in Phoenix.

Shinseki said in a statement that he had accepted Petzel’s resignation.

"As we know from the veteran community, most veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care," Shinseki said. "I am committed to strengthening veterans' trust and confidence in their VA healthcare system."

Petzel, a career VA doctor, had been undersecretary since 2010. In an op-ed published Thursday in USA Today, he wrote that he was “personally saddened” by any case of a veteran receiving poor care. He vowed "prompt and appropriate action" if the allegations of misconduct turned out to be substantiated by the agency’s inspector general.

Petzel had previously planned to retire later this year. But Shinseki lost confidence in Petzel, and asked him to step down, a source told NBC News.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Man who snatched AR-15 from gunman: 'It was life or death'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:15:12 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:40:24 GMT
    (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.   A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...(Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP). James Shaw Jr., shows his hand that was injured when he disarmed a shooter inside a Waffle House on Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. A gunman stormed the Waffle House restaurant and shot several peo...
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
    The man who wrestled the gun away from the Nashville's Waffle House shooting suspect says he decided if he was to die, gunman would "have to work to kill me.".More
  • Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Chattanooga Trees: The Bonnie Oaks Willow Oak

    Monday, April 23 2018 9:28 AM EDT2018-04-23 13:28:23 GMT
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    Bonnie Oak Willow OakBonnie Oak Willow Oak
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
    After the Civil War, it was reported that fewer than 60 trees were left in Chattanooga.More
  • Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Georgia county gets no proposals for Confederate monument

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:49:54 GMT
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    The "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONSThe "Lost Cause" monument sits by the old DeKalb County courthouse in downtown Decatur. CREDIT ATCHARLES / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More
    Georgia law doesn't allow the county to conceal the monument.More
Powered by Frankly