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Wilcox calls for investigation into VA hospitals

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Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. (Source: CBS 5 News) Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox is calling for a Congressional investigation into allegations of misconduct within VA hospitals.

The House Veterans Affairs committee conducted an investigation into VA hospitals in three cities, including Phoenix, and found wait times in the hospitals to be unacceptable and in some cases being questioned as possible reasons for death.

According to a news release from Wilcox, at least 22 veterans might have died in Phoenix alone. She is pleading for the help of both Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake to call for a Congressional hearing on the matter.

At a news conference Friday at Grant Park in Phoenix, Wilcox called for an investigation. She was joined by former Chandler City Councilman Martin Sepulveda, Commander in the Navy Reserve and an Operation Desert Storm veteran, as well as Joe Strickland, former director of the Arizona Department of Veteran's Services and a retired Army colonel.

State Rep. Heather Carter said she plans to look into what the legislature can do to ensure that veterans are receiving proper care.

The Phoenix VA Health Care System spokesman Scott McRoberts released the following statement Friday.

"We take seriously any issue that occurs in our medical center and outpatient clinics. Therefore, we have asked for an external review by the VA Office of the Inspector General to fully investigate any allegations where we haven't met the expectations of our Veterans.

"If the OIG finds areas that need to be improved, we will swiftly address them as our goal is to provide the best care possible to our Veterans.

"If a Veteran or a family member has concerns about the care we provided, we encourage them to call the patient advocate at 602-277-5551, ext 6171 or 6172."

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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