Apparently, the doctors at the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office don’t have enough work to do despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of U.S. veterans continue to wait for medical appointments.
“Urgent! Need work for In-house Physicians,” wrote the office’s assistant veterans service center manager Ameen Khabir in the subject line of a June 19 email to colleagues, which he placed on “High” importance. The Regional Office is responsible for processing compensation, benefits, employment and insurance claims.
There are more than 276,000 veteran benefit claims across the country that are still backlogged, having been waiting for more than 125 days. Wait times in Philadelphia reached 309 days in March of this year.
So what exactly is going on in Philadelphia? As of 1:41 p.m., the office’s in-house doctors just had nothing to do? Here’s the email, obtained by The Daily Caller:
Our In-house physicians are out of work. All employees currently reviewing and processing claims should be on the lookout for any cases that would be appropriate to refer to our In-house physicians for medical opinions, consultations, any possible ACE examination etc. We need work for them ASAP.
Ameen A. Khabir”
The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow patients facing long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors. Tuesday’s 421-0 vote was Congress’ latest response to the outcry over backlogs and falsified data at the VA. The bill is similar to a broader measure that the Senate plans to debate soon. The action comes with the VA reeling from growing evidence that workers fabricated data on veterans’ waits for medical appointments in an effort to mask frequent, long delays. A VA audit this week showed that more than 57,000 new patients waited at least three months for initial appointments.
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