PHOENIX — Valley public opinion researcher Mike O’Neil said there are no two sides of the Phoenix VA scandal and it has to be corrected as soon as possible.
“You don’t need PR people to fix it, the backlogs must be dealt with and they have to be audited in a way that we know it’s real,” O’Neil said.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki turned in his resignation to President Obama on Friday, shortly after firing the leadership at the Phoenix hospital.
At least 40 patients may have died awaiting appointments at the Phoenix medical center, where allegations of mismanagement, falsified records and cover-ups forced an investigation.
Similar issues have also been discovered at VA facilities across the country.
O’Neil said top brass profited with performance bonuses that were partially tied to wait times.
“The VA had a big backlog, so they created incentives for cutting the backlog. The problem when you do that is that you create an incentive to monkey with the system.
“The potential is there for trouble anytime you reward people by the numbers. What has to be done is examine how much protection to give whisteblowers. There was a whistleblower in this case (Dr. Sam Foote) but he was retired. Nobody currently working in the system stepped up.”
O’Neil said Shinseki had no choice but to resign once it became apparent that the problems with medical centers were not limited to Phoenix.
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development