Despite denials by the Department of Veteran Affairs, a whistleblower is standing by his claim that a Louisiana VA hospital maintained a secret waiting list for patient care.
According to a hospital employee named Shea Wilkes and internal emails leaked to the media, there have been wait times of up to fifteen months for appointments in the mental health department of the Overton-Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Stephanie Alexander, a nurse in the hospital, emailed James Patterson, the department’s chief of staff, and Ruthie McDaniel, the operations manager, to request overtime so that employees could catch up on scheduling the backlog.
“There are multiple lists, excel sheets, papers that contain names of patients that need to be scheduled- just a few at approximately 2400 existing patients- some have not been seen in as long as 12-15 months,” said Alexander in the email.
Wilkes told The Daily Caller that 620 veterans still need appointments.
The VA denies that any such wait list exists. In an emailed statement, VA spokeswoman Sandra Franks told TheDC that all the patients in the department have been properly taken care of.