Congress growing impatient on inquiry in VA deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) - Patience is wearing thin in Congress as lawmakers confront allegations of treatment delays and falsified patient-appointment reports at health centers run by the Veterans Affairs Department. A former clinic director says dozens of veterans died while awaiting treatment at the Phoenix VA hospital.

Sen. Patty Murray says reports of problems at VA medical facilities date back at least 14 years, and in each case were followed by promises of action.

Murray, who is a Washington state Democrat, says the VA needs decisive action to restore veterans' confidence.

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) has promised a preliminary report within three weeks on treatment delays and falsified patient-appointment reports at VA health centers.

The department's inspector general is conducting a separate investigation into the Phoenix VA that should be finished in August.

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