'Vets continue to die': Phoenix hospital at center of VA scandal ranked among nation's worst

Three years after at least 35 veterans died waiting for care at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, sparking a firestorm of demands for reform across the nation, the facility has been ranked one of the nation’s worst -- and whistle-blowers are frustrated.

Some 89,000 veterans are directed to seek medical care through the Phoenix VA, but the care the government facility provides was awarded the lowest rating, just 1 of 5 points, in a recent internal VA administration evaluation. The annual “Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning” report compared all VA medical centers to each other and its own previous performance.

“This is ground zero here in Phoenix, Ariz. It is a cesspool. It’s the worst example of VA health care in the United States -- period,” said Brandon Coleman about problems at the VA in Phoenix. Coleman was one of the original whistle-blowers in the scandal, but he no longer works there.

“After the scandal hit in 2014, money poured into this place like there was no tomorrow. The annual budget was increased more than $100 million per year and yet wait times continue to get worse. Veterans continue to die,” he said.

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