Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki defended his leadership as he faces additional calls for his resignation in the wake of the Veterans Affairs scandal.
A report released Wednesday from the inspector general’s office confirmed reports of delayed care at healthcare facilities in Phoenix, revealing that 1700 veterans were waiting for primary care appointments.
In a USA Today op-ed, Shinseki defended his department, insisting that they were heavily engaged in dealing with the situation.
“We are doing all we can to accelerate access to care throughout our system and in communities where veterans reside,” he wrote.
Elaborating, he stated:
I’ve challenged our leadership to ensure we are doing everything possible to schedule veterans for their appointments. We, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, are redoubling our efforts, with commitment and compassion, to restore integrity to our processes to earn veterans’ trust.
Shinseki tried to assure critics that the federal government system to investigate the allegations was working, thanks to the inspector general’s office.
Shinseki made no mention of pursuing criminal investigations about the activities throughout the department, but he reminded readers that the inspector general was investigating the case and taking action.
“After 38 years in the Army, I am honored and privileged to serve veterans as the secretary of Veterans Affairs, and I remain committed to providing the high-quality care and benefits that veterans have earned and deserve,” he wrote. “And we will.”