VA Secret Wait List: 40 Veterans Died Waiting For Care Says Former Doc

An alleged VA secret wait list may have been the reason that 40 Phoenix-area veterans died. According to CNN, a retired Veterans Administration doctor has come forward with claims that the hospital kept a “secret wait list” that was separate from the hospital’s actual wait list. Dr. Sam Foote claims that some veterans waited unusually long times to get appointments with doctors so a secret list was created as a sort of “cover up.”

“The managers at the VA concocted an elaborate scheme to cover up long wait times there. The sources said more than 1,400 vets were placed on the purported secret list and that documents were shredded to hide the evidence.”

The VA secret wait list was supposedly created by staff members who were trying to hide the fact that thousands of veterans were forced to wait unusually long periods of time to receive the care that they needed. Some believe that the 40 veterans that died were not able to get an appointment at the hospital and that their deaths were directly related to the fact that they needed treatment and were put off.

Phoenix VA director, Sharon Helman, denied the allegations, saying that she has never been a part of a hidden list and that she never told her staff to create any such list. Members of Congress have since called for Helman’s resignation.

The VA secret wait list was started in Feb. 2013 according to Dr. Foote, a 24-year VA physician and clinic director. Barack Obama has been notified of the allegations and says that an investigation is pending:

“The moment we heard about the allegations around these 40 individuals who had died in Phoenix, I immediately ordered the secretary of Veterans Affairs, Gen. (Eric) Shinseki, to investigate.”

As previously reported by,veterans don’t always have an easy time and many don’t receive any “special treatment” despite their service. Back in March, four American veterans found themselves on the “no-fly list.” While some believe that military members should receive the benefits and the treatment that they deserve, it doesn’t always happen that way.

The VA secret wait list had some veterans waiting up to 20 weeks just to get an appointment. According to The Washington Post, three executives have been placed on administrative leave: Sharon Helman, associate director, Lance Robinson, and a third unidentified employee. All three are on leave “until further notice.” Further action may be taken against the hospital’s staff members pending the results of the current investigation.

[Photo credit: CNN YouTube screen capture]