Acting Secretary: VA Department is in "Midst of Serious Crisis"

Published 07/22 2014 07:11PM

Updated 07/22 2014 07:22PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The acting Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department admits the agency has a lot of work to do to improve service.

Sloan Gibson visited St. Louis Tuesday for the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention.

Gibson told veterans he has put a freeze on hiring at VA central offices and suspended all senior performance awards for the year.

He has also visited 12 VA medical centers across the country to get a first hand look at the problems.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is in the midst of its most serious crisis in more than a generation,” says Gibson. “I know that and you know that. We're updating the antiquated appointment scheduling system with the VFW and VFOs actively engaged in that process; beginning with near term enhancements to the existing system and ending with the acquisition of a comprehensive, state of the art, commercial off the shelf scheduling system.”

Those scheduling problems at the VA have been blamed for the deaths of some veterans waiting for care.

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