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Health News Florida

Doctor's Complaint Started VA Inquiry

Department of Veterans Affairs

The national VA hospital scandal that started with complaints from a retired Phoenix doctor is inspiring Florida veterans to come forward with their stories of delayed medical care.

Dr. Samuel Foote, who retired after 25 years at the VA in Phoenix, started sending letters to the VA Office of Inspector General in December, complaining about systematic problems with delays in care, the Associated Press reports.

He also spoke with the media and Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, who is leading hearings this week on the issue in Washington D.C.

The publicity is inspiring veterans to speak up about their views on the VA health system -- some positive, some not, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

A Fort Walton Beach widow says her husband, a veteran of the first Iraq War, committed suicide while waiting for mental health services through the VA. Young veterans dealing with chronic conditions say they buy private health insurance in case they need to see a doctor right away, the Daily News reports.