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Investigator Blasts VA Attitude

Office of Special Counsel
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The head of the Office of Special Counsel in Washington sent President Barack Obama a scathing letter about the VA's failure to take responsibility for the patients who may have been harmed by hospitals' system of keeping double books for appointments.

The letter from Carolyn Lerner said VA officials have been blithely dismissing evidence of canceled appointments as trivial errors that had no effect on patients, the New York Times reports.  Even the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector has been complicit, she said.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times reports that -- according to an anonymous letter -- more than 1,000 appointments to the gastrointestinal clinic at the VA hospital in Pinellas County were canceled in the past three years "to make the numbers look good."

The anonymous whistleblower  said the cancelations included both appointments and colonoscopies. The writer warned that the evidence would likely be "well concealed."

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.