PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Phoenix VA whistleblower comes forward to make public yet another problem at the troubled facility.
The whistleblower claims the hospital pharmacy has a cockroach problem. The whistleblower is a patient at the Phoenix VA, and noticed the presence of several cockroaches while sitting in the waiting room at the pharmacy.
The patient, who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, recorded video of the bugs, and sent it to FOX 10 Phoenix.
While waiting for a prescription at the pharmacy, patients noticed a cockroach in plain sight on the floor, and used their feet to try and smash the bug. In another video, a roach is seen crawling on a doorway of the pharmacy.
"I know they've had infestation problems for years," said Brandon Coleman, in a phone interview. Coleman, a former Marine, is a whistleblower and employee for the Phoenix VA. He said many patients don't report the infestation to managers, because they're apathetic to the problem.
"They're used to it," said Coleman. "They're used to substandard care. I think veterans feel lucky just to get an appointment with the secret wait list going on in phoenix. A roach is no big deal."
Hines VA Hospital, a VA facility in Illinois was recently accused of serving veterans food infested by cockroaches. According to the Office of Inspector General, several roaches were found throughout the main kitchen of tha facility. A whistleblower sparked that investigation.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Phoenix VA told FOX 10 Phoenix that the pharmacy was recently checked, and no bugs were found. The hospital released a statement that read:
"Whenever insects are reported, our environmental management specialists provide immediate action and ensure the external pest control agencies are notified to come on site for complete remediation activities."
"I'm grateful to the whistleblower who came forward, and hopefully...they'll make sure there aren't any roaches for our nations heroes because that's disgusting," said Coleman.