Illinois legislators increase scrutiny of veterans hospitals

CHICAGO - After an internal review showing that several dozen patients waited three months or more for appointments at two veterans hospitals, Illinois legislators are increasing their scrutiny of similar facilities in the state.

Two U.S. Senators received a letter from Veterans Affairs officials that said unauthorized wait lists and problems with delayed care existed at several facilities in the Midwest.  Included in those facilities are two hospitals that serve veterans from southwestern Illinois, in Marion and St. Louis. 

According to United States Representative John Shimkus, officials at both facilities had assured him there were no problems just days before the letter's release, and that the letter raises questions.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers were planning visits to VA facilities this week amid a nationwide investigation that was sparked with allegations that long wait times were covered up at a Phoenix hospital.
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