Sen. Mark Kirk calls VA clinic scandal 'inexcusable' - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Sen. Mark Kirk calls VA clinic scandal 'inexcusable'

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A suburban hospital is one of several facilities cited to be reviewed in the veterans administration scandal. Monday, the Department of Veteran's Affairs revealed more than 120,000 veterans across the country have been placed on secret waiting lists for appointments. 

A recent audit revealed 57,000 patients are still waiting for their first appointment. The report says an additional 64,000 people never even got an appointment and fell through the system.

With the scandal continuing to spread, Republicans and Democrats are trying to come together to work on the issue, trying to find a common ground on some kind of short term solution. And as the days go on, the debate just gets uglier and deeper. 

There are allegations that patients died while waiting for treatment at a local VA hospital.

The Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital near Maywood and four other facilities in Illinois are among 120 medical facilities under federal review. Those clinics were placed under review by the Veteran's  Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after he was put under pressure when it was discovered that patients were put on secret waiting lists. 

Illinois senators say they find the situation troubling. Mark Kirk, a retired Navy officer, said the recent news confirms what he suspected for some time.

"It is inexcusable. Without these guys we would not have a country," Kirk said.

Mark Kirk called last month for hospital director Joan Ricard to resign. He says if officials find any inappropriate behavior at the clinics, they will be put under review.

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