Washington, D.C.— Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Barry Coates of McBee, South Carolina will testify before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (HVAC) during a hearing to examine delays in Department of Veterans Affairs medical care as well as a number of preventable veteran deaths at VA medical centers around the country.

HVAC has been investigating delays in VA medical care for more than a year.  South Carolina native and Army Veteran, Barry Coates is one of the veterans who has suffered due to delay in care. The committee’s probe has helped uncover at least 19 preventable veteran deaths as well as more than 60 serious injuries due to delays in VA medical procedures such as endoscopies. 

Six of the deceased veterans were seeking care at the Columbia, S.C., VA Medical Center and three of the veterans who died were seeking care at the Augusta, Ga., VA Medical Center. These deaths have been accompanied by a perceived lack of accountability among VA officials who presided over them. Despite numerous committee requests, the department has not provided the committee with clear and complete details regarding specific disciplinary actions for employees who allowed patients to fall through the cracks.

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the extent of VA’s challenges in providing veterans with timely medical care and identify the steps the department is taking to remedy these problems, as well as those associated with other preventable deaths, and hold those responsible accountable. 

The following event is open to the press:

WHO:            House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

WHAT:          Hearing: “A Continued Assessment of Delays in VA Medical Care and Preventable Veteran Deaths

WHEN:          10:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WHERE:        Room 334, Cannon House Office Building and streaming at veterans.house.gov