Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says a report from the Veterans Administrationmedical inspector confirms stories he heard about problems at the V-Ahospitals in Iowa City and Knoxville. He said the preliminary reportconfirms the diversion of patients from the Des Moines facility to otherhospitals, a lack of bedspace. The report also concludes that the staff isoverburdened and employee moral is low, there is a lack of specialtyphysicians, the patient-to-nurse ratio is too high — and patient monitoringand education are inadequate. Harkin, a democrat, says the source of theproblems is clear: questionable management from the VA, and a lack ofsupport from congress. Harkin says this should not be happening to Iowaveterans. Harkin says he will push to see that the problems are corrected.Harkin asked for the investigation of the V-A hospitals after reports fromveterans and their families.
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