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Sen. Jon Tester Calls for Continued Focus at Veterans Affairs Department

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MISSOULA -

Montana's senior senator, Jon Tester, said that heads should roll if recent allegations of inadequate care at VA facilities are true.

In Washington, D.C. on Thursday, the senator heard testimony from the head of the Veterans Affairs Department, Eric Shinseki, after allegations surfaced the VA covered up how long it was making veterans wait for medical care, some of whom died.

Tester said facts must guide the government's response.

He also said only a continued focus on veterans' care will lead to improved results.

"Let's talk about ways we can address VA medical workforce shortfalls, particularly in rural areas. Let's talk about ways we can improve transportation options for veterans or expanding telemedicine initiatives. Let's talk about building more partnerships between the VA and local providers, and providing the VA with more of the resources it needs to address its patient workloads. Let's have these conversations so that we can provide veterans with meaningful action items, not just political talking points. Veterans deserve our best. They have sacrificed much."

Representatives from Veterans Service Organizations also testified that the VA's quality of care is improving, but more needs to be done to improve access to care.

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