Whistleblower says veterans still face long delays at Phoenix VA hospital

- A government watchdog group recently discovered that veterans being treated at the Phoenix VA hospital continue to face excessive wait times and more than a dozen veterans have been harmed or had died because of delays.

The scandals that put the hospital in the national spotlight more than two years ago still have not gone away.

"The killing of the vets through denial of care is wrong and I'm going to make sure somebody knows this is going on," Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez said.

Whistleblower Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez came forward to federal investigators last year and today, many of his claims were confirmed.

One veteran died of cardiovascular disease because he didn't get the exam he needed in time at the Phoenix VA. During a week in October of 2015, 59 canceled appointments needed to be rescheduled, but were not, which resulted in 12 veterans suffering harm that could've been prevented.

The more than 1,000 Phoenix VA patients have waited longer than 30 days for an appointment. More than 200 veterans died while waiting for care, however, the delayed appointments were not the sole cause of their deaths.

Rodriguez says he's been retaliated against after speaking out.

"I'm still working, but I've received death threats from employees, physical threats; my car has been vandalized, I've been denied my promotion," he said.

The VA says the continue to make improvements and have made significant decreases in the number of vets waiting months for care.

Rodriguez is the fourth Phoenix VA whistleblower to come forward.

"I was not scared because I'm a combat veteran," he said. "I'm doing this for my fellow veterans. If we don't stand up for each other, nobody else is. The Phoenix VA is not going to stand up for our rights."

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