Ga. Congressman says VA secretary should be fired for patient deaths

by: Justin Gray Updated:

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WASHINGTON - A Georgia congressman is reacting to an interview he saw Thursday on Channel 2 Action News.
 
Channel 2’s Justin Gray spoke exclusively to the head of the Veterans Administration about the management problems at the Atlanta VA Medical Center linked to patient deaths.
 
Gray talked to Rep. David Scott Friday in Washington, who is demanding that the VA secretary resign.
 
Scott said he is not satisfied with the answers VA Secretary Eric Shinseki gave about the patient deaths at the VA hospital in DeKalb County.
 
Scott has personally asked President Barack Obama to fire Shinseki.
 
“How in the world can he even begin to say he has his hands on the problem when he hadn't even set foot there,” Scott said.
 
Channel 2 action news was the first to report on Veterans Affairs department audits that linked the deaths of three vets to mismanagement in the mental health unit at the Atlanta facility.
 
On Thursday, Shinseki told Gray the Atlanta VA is now in better shape.
 
“I believe we have the right leadership in place and the appropriate changes are being made,” Shinseki said.
 
But Scott said he thinks Shinseki himself and other top managers should lose their jobs.
 
“The buck starts at the top,” Scott said.  
 
Sources tell Channel 2 Action News that seven staff members were given written reprimands. Two, including the hospital's director, retired.
 
But Scott said that's not enough.
 
“Those families right now have question marks as to whether they want their sons or daughters in the VA hospital and that is a damn shame,” Scott said.  
 
“Do you think heads should roll?” Gray asked.
 
“Heads should roll, they should have been rolled,” Scott said.
 
An audit by the VA's own inspector general found that the Atlanta VA Medical Center has completed seven of the 19 changes that were recommended after Channel 2's original investigation last year.



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