The top Department of Veterans Affairs official in charge of health has resigned in the wake of reports of secret waiting lists and delayed care in Phoenix and other VA hospitals.
Word of the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, the department’s under secretary for health, came in an announcement Friday from Secretary Eric Shinseki.
“Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs,” he said.
“As we know from the Veteran community, most Veterans are satisfied with the quality of their VA health care, but we must do more to improve timely access to that care,” said Shinseki. He added, “I am committed to strengthening Veterans’ trust and confidence in their VA healthcare system.
The move comes as the House next week is planning floor action on its Veterans Management Accountability Act. The legislation would make it easier to fire or demote senior leaders deemed as failing to meet responsibilities.
With Petzel’s departure, it is unclear how many of the jobs of other department officials could ultimately be targeted because of the burgeoning scandal.