VA controversy hits close to home

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. His resignation comes two days after an internal report found huge problems in the VA health care system.

As many as 40 veterans may have died waiting for care but we do know at least 3 have died right here in Augusta.

"I think it's even more important that folks at home, in the community know the efforts being made to make sure that these kind of troubles happen again," Congressman John Barrow said a few weeks ago as a follow up to a press conference held in November when the Charlie Norwood VA admitted those 3 veterans died while in their care because of a backlog.

"Of all the records we've examined, we've identified 7 that we felt we've needed to do better with their care," said Scott Hamilton, director of the Charlie Norwood VA.

Shinseki resigned today after an internal report found many problems in the VA system, which provides care to about 6 and half million veterans each year.

President Obama said he accepted his resignation with "considerable regret."

While VA secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned, director Scott Hamilton was not at liberty to say if anyone at the Charlie Norwood VA had resigned or been fired.

"I would say that we all take some responsibility in that area and I will say that there has been some administrative action taken, however, I am not at liberty to share at this time," Hamilton said.

Congressman Barrow did have a more positive outlook of the VA hospital, a few weeks ago.

"We were assured at the hearing we had back in January that they were no longer any backlogs in the GI area or in the other areas of concern," Barrow said. They've been address."

In a statement, John Barrow said this about Shinseki's resignation:

"For nearly 50 years, General Shinseki has honorably served this country in various capacities, serving with special distinction in our nation's military. The problems at the VA do not undo the decades of service he's given to our country."

Barrow goes on to say: "You couldn't find a nicer person or more dedicated public servant than General Eric Shinseki, but this changing of the guard is critical to move the VA forward."

In the interim, Shinseki's deputy Sloan Gibson will take over the position for now.

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