COLUMBIA (WACH) ?? The Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Sloan Gibson addressed issues at the Dorn VA Medical Center Wednesday.
??People will be held accountable for woeful misconduct in caring for veterans at Dorn VA hospital,?? said Gibson.
The Acting Secretary said the wait times at Dorn are unacceptable and ??have not been delivering in our promises to the veterans.??
Gibson says Dorn has taken several actions and hopes to correct the wait times including hiring nurses, additional providers, and support staff. Dorn also bringing in additional doctors to reduce a 77-day average for first time primary care visits.
??We??ve had our shares of problems here at Dorn, but I??m starting to hear and see of things that show improvement,?? said Gibson.
Secretary Gibson says Columbia and Augusta have been on his ??short list?? of VA centers to visit for several months.
Gibson said Dorn has contacted 3,800 veterans on wait lists and created 1,700 new appointment slots in the last few weeks.
??Policy is getting in the way of serving our veterans. We??ve done this to ourselves and we will change that.??
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs said there has been $700,000 allocated to provide resources for Dorn to refer patients to community doctors for care.
??Trust is the foundation of everything at the VA and we haven??t seen that trust erode,?? says Gibson.
The Dorn Center has been hit with reports of delays in patient care as have other Veterans Administration hospitals across the country.
Last year, the VA's inspector general found delayed screenings for colorectal cancer were linked to dozens of malignancies and six deaths.