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Probe Sought on VA Hospitals

A series of injuries, overdoses and deaths - including five cancer patients who allegedly died from delayed care last year - has prompted Gov. Rick Scott to call for a statewide investigation of Veteran’s Affairs hospitals, the Tampa Tribune reports. 

The Tribune filed a Freedom of Information Act request, seeking to discover in which hospitals the deaths occurred, but says it was turned down.

Scott asked the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which inspects other hospitals, to conduct the probe and to release its findings publicly, according to the Miami Herald.

Although VA officials refused to say in which hospitals the deaths occurred, investigators have already found problems in Miami’s VA hospital, including serious lapses in security, absent staff and patients who had easy access to illicit drugs, according to a report issued last week by VA’s Office of the Inspector General.

Investigators also found that seven patients tested positive for drug or alcohol abuse and one veteran died of an overdose at the Miami VA hospital, the Herald reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.