ORLANDO, Fla. — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, sent a letter Thursday to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie demanding answers after a whistleblower revealed lengthy wait times for more than 450 vets.
“I write to express concern with substantiated whistleblower allegations regarding lengthy wait times at the Orlando VA Medical Center,” wrote Rubio. “Your Department found that approximately 453 Veteran patients seeking care at this facility experienced wait times for endoscopy procedures longer than 30 days."
Since 2014, veterans have been eligible for what’s known as the Veterans Choice Program, which allows vets to seek private care if the VA can’t schedule an appointment within 30 days.
According to the Office of Special Counsel, the acting chief of medicine of the Orlando VA “instructed staff to not refer some of these patients to community care.”
Rubio in his letter wrote that the “delays raised the risk for medical conditions to worsen.”
Rubio is asking the VA to outline what changes it has made to ensure these wait times are addressed at the Orlando VA.
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