GOP Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake blasted the Phoenix VA Thursday for its deplorable and disturbing sanitary conditions, following the release of a new government watchdog report.
A new report from the Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general uncovered deplorable conditions at the Phoenix medical center, which hampered the ability of staff to handle increased demand in the emergency department. These conditions also resulted in delayed delivery of prescriptions.
“If a private hospital was found to deny care, violate patient confidentially or maintain ‘filthy’ conditions, there would be an immediate outcry to close its doors,” McCain said in a statement. “We have a long way to go to change the culture that led to this scandal in care at the Phoenix VA that failed our state and nation’s veterans. I will continue fighting for much-needed accountability at the VA, as well as for a permanent Veterans Card Choice so that no veteran is stuck in this system with no recourse.”
The report substantiated that several treatment and public areas were dirty, due to understaffing in housekeeping. Additionally, staff failed to properly dispose of oral temperature probe covers.
Grout and tile in the bathrooms were stained. It didn’t look like they had been cleaned when inspectors conducted an unannounced investigation on the medical center. There was debris all over the place and in the emergency department clean linen room, as well as the medical supply room.
The floors of the emergency department did not appear clean.
Flake followed McCain with a statement affirming that basic cleanliness is a bare minimum.
“I am deeply disturbed and disappointed in the conditions at the Phoenix VA that the VAOIG confirmed today. Cleanliness, timeliness, and confidentiality are not lofty goals but bare minimums,” said Flake. “The failures of the Phoenix VA are worrisome and I will continue to provide oversight of the location. I want to thank Congressman Walz for requesting this audit.”
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