Acting VA Secretary: Albuquerque Staff Acted Properly

Jul 17, 2014

  Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson says he is "proud" how staff at Albuquerque's Veterans Affairs hospital responded to a veteran who collapsed in a VA cafeteria and later died.

Gibson said Thursday an initial review found staff properly reacted in providing help after 71-year-old Jim Napoleon Garcia last month collapsed and had to wait for an ambulance to take him to an emergency room 500 yards away.

But he said the Veterans Affair Department is reviewing the case to see if any system wide changes are needed.

The review comes amid a national outcry over treatment delays and patient deaths.

In addition, Gibson said the department is negotiating with an outside contractor to conduct a national audit on its waiting times.

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