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VA hospital staff got $1M in bonuses while therapy pool for wounded vets closed

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The therapeutic aquatic pool had to go due to an alleged lack of funds at the Memphis Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, but over $1 million in bonuses were approved for its employees.

The facility allocated $1,005,644 in bonuses for its approximately 2,000 employees in fiscal year 2010, the Daily Caller reported Monday. The therapy pool was closed months earlier.

"The Memphis VA Medical Center is committed to honoring veterans with safe, high quality, accessible care earned through their service to the country," a statement sent to the Daily Caller by the Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN) 9 read. "By law, funds for specific purposes cannot be used for anything other than what they've been appropriated for. It is a management decision to consider the cost benefit of maintaining programs and services within the organization."

"No veteran has been denied services as a result of the closure of the therapeutic pool closure," the statement continued. "Any patient that requires aqua therapy as a result of their plan of care will be referred to an accredited aqua therapy program in the private sector at VA expense."

Two whistleblowers, who wish to remain anonymous because they are employed by the VA, told the Daily Caller that the statement is disingenuous. They told the news outlet that the VA regularly denies veterans' request for aqua therapy care by claiming the therapy isn't covered by their plans.

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