- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Veterans Affairs records indicate that numerous patients who needed a primary care physician at the VA medical center in Albuquerque instead were assigned to a medical supervisor who didn’t treat patients, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday.

The patients were assigned to the supervisor until they could be assigned to a physician, but in the meantime, it appeared that the veterans had a doctor, the Journal reported http://bit.ly/1mPWzac ).

The nation’s health care system for veterans is under scrutiny in the wake of revelations about long waits and other problems, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday.

At the Albuquerque medical center, patients with urgent needs but assigned to the medical supervisor were sent to a walk-in clinic or emergency room or were squeezed into the schedule of a physician, according to the Journal.

VA staffers were told last fall that the assignments were a way to manage an influx of patients, the newspaper reported.

VA spokeswoman Sonja Brown told the Journal that the Albuquerque VA health system keeps an electronic wait list, but that she didn’t know how many patients were on it.



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