WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will allow more veterans to obtain health care at private hospitals and clinics.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) announced the change Saturday.
He says VA facilities are enhancing their clinic capacity to help veterans get care sooner. In cases where officials cannot increase capacity at VA centers, Shinseki says the agency is "increasing the care we acquire in the community through non-VA care."
The VA is facing allegations that veterans have died while awaiting treatment at VA centers, and that employees have falsified appointment records to cover up delays in care.
Arizona Sen. John McCain and other lawmakers have called for the VA to allow more veterans to receive medical care at private hospitals.