Veterans Affairs secretary touts health care reforms after scathing audit

No veterans were harmed, Robert Wilkie tells FOX Business' Liz MacDonald

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie responded to a scathing inspector general report in an interview with FOX Business' Liz MacDonald Wednesday, saying no veterans were harmed.

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The report revealed Veterans Affairs workers at nine different offices improperly canceled and delayed tens of thousands of medical tests, such as X-rays and cardiac imaging, jeopardizing the health of military veterans.

The inspector general audit did not mention the reforms that have been put in place since President Trump took office, Wilkie said.

VETERANS AFFAIRS HEALTH CARE AUDIT SHOWS THOUSANDS OF DELAYED, CANCELED TESTS RESULTS

"What was not put in there was all of the reforms that have been put in place just in the last year-and-a-half, thanks to this president."

- VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

Wilkie said only eight veterans had to get extra follow-up care due to the mistakes.

"That's particularly important when you consider that we carry out about 11 million radiological appointments each year," Wilkie said on "The Evening Edit." "What was not put in there was all of the reforms that have been put in place just in the last year-and-a-half, thanks to this president."

VETERANS AFFAIRS PRACTICES SLAMMED BY WHISTLEBLOWER

Wilkie said he is particularly proud of expanding choice for veterans.

"We put their needs at the center of their care, not the needs of the bureaucracy of the VA," Wilkie said.

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He said since that reforms were put into place, the VA has sent 1.6 million veterans into private-sector health care so they could get treated sooner and more conveniently.

When asked if the VA should be privatized, he was quite clear with his answer: no.

"We put their needs at the center of their care, not the needs of the bureaucracy of the VA."

- VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

"What we should be doing is making sure that every available avenue is open to our veterans so they get the best care," Wilkie said. "That is the key."

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