Portman: Reported issues at VA 'very troubling'

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 19:40:38-05

CINCINNATI – Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown called for action over the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati after a WCPO/Scripps News Washington Bureau report detailed what Portman called “very troubling allegations” about the facility’s quality of care and leadership.

Reporters spoke with more than 30 current and former medical staff members, including 18 doctors, some of whom described “urgent concerns about quality of care” at the facility.

Portman said Wednesday he was writing a letter to the Office of the Inspector General asking it to look into the issue.

“Our veterans deserve the best health care and, based on these allegations, that hasn’t always been the case,” he said.

Brown said he believed the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, which he sits on, as well as Congress and the VA need to make sure the issues get fixed.

"I'm very concerned about what happened in Cincinnati," Brown said. "I thank the whistleblowers who have spoken up."

Portman also said he had asked the subcommittee on investigations to look into the issue. 

“If the allegations are accurate in terms of some of the activity in Cincinnati, it goes to ethical issues and moral issues as to some of the procedures and practices,” Portman said. “We need to get to the bottom of it. We need to find out if those allegations are accurate or not, and the situation needs to be corrected immediately.”

Click here to read the WCPO/Scripps investigation.