But, as of last week, the White House said President Barack Obama remains confident that Shinseki can lead the department and take appropriate action.
Shinseki has placed three Phoenix VA officials on administrative leave and sent a team of clinical experts to Phoenix to review scheduling procedures and care delays.
The VA has enjoyed a reputation in recent years for providing high-quality, coordinated care for veterans. But some experts say the new allegations of mismanagement, overlong patient waits and poor recordkeeping are consistent with previously documented problems.
For more than a decade, the VA's inspector general and the Government Accountability Office have pressed the agency to address violations in appointment scheduling and waiting-time recordkeeping requirements.
Under a 1996 law, disabled veterans needing care must be seen by a provider within 30 days. But five years after the law passed, the GAO found that two-thirds of the specialty-care clinics they examined had wait times longer than 30 days.
GAO healthcare team director Debra Draper said antiquated software systems, lack of adequate training and turnover in scheduling positions have contributed to treatment delays.
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