05.16.08

Burr Calls For IG Investigation At Temple, Texas VA Medical Center

Veterans deserve accurate medical diagnoses on PTSD

U.S. Senator Richard Burr, ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, today called on the Office of the Inspector General (IG) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to investigate practices related to the diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at VA's Temple, Texas medical center. Senator Burr made the request along with Chairman Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) today. The request is to ensure that the recently revealed email from a staff member at the Temple VA medical center did not influence the type of diagnoses given to veterans.

"The hardworking VA staff is tasked with making a fair and honest assessment of a veteran's health when the veteran seeks treatment," Burr said. "It is troubling if even one person at VA would encourage other employees to make anything other than a completely honest health assessment of our veterans. These allegations are serious and we need to make sure this is an isolated incident. VA needs to make sure all veterans at the Temple facility have received and continue to receive the best care possible."

The Inspector General's office is an independent organization tasked with ensuring investigating waste, fraud, and abuse. The senators have asked the IG to review PTSD diagnoses at the Temple facility and any benefits claims affected by those diagnoses. When the investigation is complete, the IG will provide a report containing its assessment of the incident and recommendations on how VA can fix any existing problems.

"Veterans must be able to trust those charged with giving them care and benefits. I look forward to the Inspector General's report and expect VA to review all disability claims that may have been influenced as a result of this incident."