VA whistle blower wants "clean house" of Temple VA hospital - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

VA whistle blower wants "clean house" of Temple VA hospital

VA whistle-blower Dr. Joseph Spann says he wants the Temple VA hospital to change its leaders.

In early May, Spann accused the Temple hospital and Austin clinic of manipulating patient wait times. Spann is a doctor for the Austin clinic which is overseen by the Temple hospital under the Central Texas Healthcare System. After hearing the resignation of Shinseki, Spann says he was sad. He says he wants some more changes on the local level instead. Spann says he would like to see a "clean house" of the Temple Hospital of its leaders. Spann says there are some good employees there, but they need different leaders.

Spann says the Temple facility often has a manipulation of appointments and numbers. This is because of a bonus system which rewards people for reaching a certain criteria. He says that leads to higher-ups working more to meet expectations instead of taking care of veterans and he wants to get rid of that bonus system.

McLennan County Veterans Service Officer Steve Hernandez says he has not seen any major problems with the Waco VA hospital. However he recognizes a problem with the system.

"I just don't think there's enough transparency, enough oversight, I don't think there's enough accountability and that's why I feel like somebody's got to take that responsibility," Hernandez said.

Hernandez says he was also sad to see Shinseki resign. He also says this is more of a wake-up call and there could be some effects locally but it may not happen immediately.

Local VA spokesperson Deborah Meyer says it will be business as usual.

"Throughout the immediate and longer term changes we will emphasize accountability. In the near term, as we assess sites for further review, we will ensure that managers and staff engaging in undesired practices are held accountable. As we implement immediate and longer-term changes, accountability for integrity will rest squarely with facility, network and national executives," Meyer said in a statement.

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