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VA whistle blower speaks out about secret waiting list

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A congressional report all began with one man; a doctor who exposed the 'secret waiting' list at the Phoenix VA medical center.

Doctor Sam Foote is now retired, but he worked at the VA medical center for 24 years. Foote says he became suspicious in December of 2012.

"We had thirteen thousand patients that we did not have primary care providers for, and we had over a year waiting list," said Dr. Sam Foote.

Dr. Sam Foote tells us that after a meeting with clinic directors and the head of primary care in 2012 it was decided that the VA doctors would pick up 67 new patients.

"So by mid January my clinic had pretty much finished our work ahead of everyone else I said well do you have any more patients for us, and he said no and that made no sense," said Foote.

Foote says the secret waiting list began in February of 2013 and that if they were on that list, there was no record that the new patient ever came to the medical center.

"You would come in they'd register you in the computer or so you thought and rather than hit save they would hit print and do a screen capture. Than they would not enter your data in the computer. They would take the paper up to health administrative services and then they would put it on a secret paper list at that time, and then shred the screen capture shot," he said.

Last week the VA's medical director Sharon Helman told fox 10 this: I have never directed staff to do a secret waiting list.

"Well, you can say you can sometimes play on words she didn't say she didn't know about it and didn't agree with it. Did she actually say hey you, go do the secret waiting list, maybe not," said Foote.

Foote believes that director Helman lied about wait times so that she could get a bonus. He's asking anyone who may have lost a relative due to the wait times contact him at sfootemd@gmail.com


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