Private hospitals could take some pressure off VA

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration's decision to allow more veterans to get care at private hospitals could take some pressure off backlogged Veterans Affairs facilities.

Many of them are struggling to cope with new patients from the wars on terrorism as well as soldiers from prior conflicts.

Agreeing to recommendations from lawmakers, the administration says it will allow more veterans to obtain treatment at private hospitals and clinics in an effort to improve care.

In a statement Saturday, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki also said that VA facilities are enhancing capacity of their clinics so veterans can get care sooner.

Lawmakers from both parties have pressed for this policy change as the VA confronts allegations about treatment delays and falsified records at VA centers nationwide.

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