Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki turned in his official resignation, President Obama said in an official statement Friday. “After Wednesday’s release of an interim inspector general report, we now know that V.A. has a systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity within some of our veterans’ health facilities,” Shinseki said, shortly before his resignation.“That breach of integrity is irresponsible, it is indefensible and it is unacceptable to me.”
Shinseki is not only willingly stepping down; the former VA secretary announced that, before parting ways, he fired VA leaders who took part in the nationwide scandal. “Mr. Shinseki also said that he would fire senior leaders at the Phoenix medical center that falsified data about long waiting times for patients seeking doctor appointments,”The New York Times explained.
The Obama administration hopes Shinseki’s resignation will be one of the first steps in completely overhauling and correcting negligent practices at VA hospitals across the nation. New leaders are heavily encouraged to report problems and take actions to fix them, the president added. Shinseki is not making excuses for his lacking leadership. “I will not defend it, because it is indefensible. But I can take responsibility for it, and I do,” Shinseki said.
“I hope that this does not end here,” says Matt Hill, Attorney at Hill and Ponton Law Firm. “The problem was not Shinseki or the leaders at the top of the VA, but the entrenched notion in that bureaucrats statistics and personal gain are more important than the well being of our veterans.”