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Although improvements have been made at most facilities after the inspector general investigations, some critics say the watchdog office has not done enough to protect veterans from a system that they say mistreats and ignores them.

“Although the VA has an inspector general, we feel that given the controversial allegations that have recently come to light this position is arguably akin to asking the fox to guard the henhouse,” William A. Thien, VWF commander in chief, said in a statement Friday.

Mr. Thien said the incident in Phoenix was the result of a failure in leadership and said the VFW would be scrutinizing procedures at VA facilities.

“This tragic breach of trust doesn’t lie with doctors or nurses, but with the bureaucrats who are safely entrenched within the system. It’s time to eliminate the bonuses, fat paychecks and positions of those who would violate this most sacred trust. It is paramount that Eric Shinseki move immediately to ensure measures are put in place to reestablish the credibility of the entire VA health care system and importantly, that of the office of the secretary of VA,” Mr. Thien said.

Congressional lawmakers and major veterans groups including the American Legion and Concerned Veterans for America have called for Mr. Shinseki to step down after the revelations of the department’s health care failings.

“The president needs to find a new leader to lead this organization out of the wilderness, and back to providing the service our veterans deserve,” Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said in a statement Tuesday.