WICHITA, Kan The Department of Veterans Affairs releasing its audit of the time it takes for veterans to be seen at a VA hospital..
More than 57,000 are awaiting VA visits nationwide. Here in Kansas the audit revealing more than 1,000 veterans are awaiting VA visits.
But Kansas 1st District Representative Tim Huelskamp says the audit still gives the official numbers. Huelskamp says, "The numbers don't match with what I heard in Wichita this past week. Indeed the numbers in the audit understate the problem in Wichita and I believe across the country."
The VA says 110 Kansas veterans are waiting for appointments at VA hospitals and clinics for 90 days or more. An additional 977 veterans in Kansas who have enrolled in the VA health care system during the past 10 years have never had appointments.
Rep. Huelskamp is on the House Veterans Affairs Investigative Subcommittee.. He says he's still not satisfied with the responses he's getting from VA officials at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.
He says, "I just looked at a memo from 2010 that documented 26 different ways that employees of the veterans administration have been making up numbers, scheming the system, gaming the system, putting veterans, basically on hold, giving them a death warrant as they deny timely access to care."
The audit released Monday shows 104 patients are on an electronic waiting list at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita. Six are awaiting care through the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, which has facilities in Topeka and Leavenworth.
The federal department also says 636 veterans who enrolled for care at the Wichita center in the past decade never had an appointment. Another 341 who enrolled in Topeka or Leavenworth have not had an appointment.
Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo of Wichita says, "This is the kind of thing you find when there's no accountability inside a governmental organization. It highlights the continuing challenges that are out at the VA."
Huelskamp says it could take years to fix the problems at the VA Hospitals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report