Hearing to address VA Hospital conditions announced

Tampa, Florida — It's the next step to protect veteran healthcare in the state. After reports of deplorable conditions in some VA hospitals for years, we may finally get some answers thanks to new action from the national level.

Dan Ashby's son Corey Kent is a triple amputee, injured in Afghanistan.

"Three or four months into his rehabilitation and we thought it would be better to get him closer to home," Ashby said.

But because their son was still in intensive care, they took Corey from from Walter Reed Medical Center to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa without seeing it in person first.

"I can tell you this, if we would have, we would have never went to begin with," he said.

Ashby says he was appalled pictures he took two years ago show what he says is mold under tiles on the floor, dirty bathrooms, holes in the bathroom and walls where people placed trash.

Governor Rick Scott and Chairman on the House Committee for Veterans Affairs Jeff Miller called these conditions and others at VA hospitals across the state unacceptable.

And it's at American Legion Post 139 the Governor and Chairman say things have to change.

"We have asked the VA and asked the VA to give us the information to do our constitutional oversight responsibility and they have stonewalled us at every turn," Miller said.

But Chairman Miller says soon that will change.

"I can confirm to you today we will hold (a) field hearing here in Florida," he said.

It will be an official hearing to bring VA big wigs to Tampa for answers, because as Dan Ashby says, "they can have inspectors go in there all day, but if they don't sustain it, it doesn't matter what they do."


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