12-years-old Niklas Haverkate from the Netherlands made the video.
This video from CNN in the USA is called 40 deaths result from VA hospital’s secret waiting list.
From CNN in the USA:
A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list
By Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin, CNN Investigations
April 24, 2014 — Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.
For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.
Internal e-mails obtained by CNN show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.
Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor told CNN in an exclusive interview that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:
There’s an “official” list that’s shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there’s the real list that’s hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.
Deliberate scheme, shredded evidence
“The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” said Foote in Phoenix. “They developed the secret waiting list,” said Foote, a respected local physician.
The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.
According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor’s appointments for veterans within the computer system.
Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, “they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there’s no record that you were ever here,” he said.
According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.
“That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded,” Foote said.
“So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list,” he said. “And they wouldn’t take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not.”
Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.
Doctor: It’s a ‘frustrated’ staff
“I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA,” said Foote. “They’re all frustrated. They’re all upset. They all wish they could leave ’cause they know what they’re doing is wrong.
“But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that.”
Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote’s description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.
Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, ‘Oh yeah. We’re makin’ our appointments within — within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,’ when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months,” he said.
November: A dire situation in South Carolina
In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.
“We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine,” said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. “So I was like, ‘Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.’ “
Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait.
“They wrote on his chart that it was urgent,” said Sally, her father-in-law’s main caretaker. The family has obtained the chart from the VA that clearly states the “urgency” as “one week” for Breen to see a primary care doctor or at least a urologist, for the concerns about the blood in the urine.
“And they sent him home,” says Teddy, incredulously.
Sally and Teddy say Thomas Breen was given an appointment with a rheumatologist to look at his prosthetic leg but was given no appointment for the main reason he went in.
The Breens wait … and wait … and wait …
No one called from the VA with a primary care appointment. Sally says she and her father-in-law called “numerous times” in an effort to try to get an urgent appointment for him. She says the response they got was less than helpful.
“Well, you know, we have other patients that are critical as well,” Sally says she was told. “It’s a seven-month waiting list. And you’re gonna have to have patience.”
Sally says she kept calling, day after day, from late September to October. She kept up the calls through November. But then she no longer had reason to call.
Thomas Breen died on November 30. The death certificate shows that he died from Stage 4 bladder cancer. Months after the initial visit, Sally says she finally did get a call.
“They called me December 6. He’s dead already.”
Sally says the VA official told her, “We finally have that appointment. We have a primary for him.’ I said, ‘Really, you’re a little too late, sweetheart.’ “
Sally says her father-in-law realized toward the end he was not getting the care he needed.
“At the end is when he suffered. He screamed. He cried. And that’s somethin’ I’d never seen him do before, was cry. Never. Never. He cried in the kitchen right here. ‘Don’t let me die.’ “
Teddy added his father said: “Why is this happening to me? Why won’t anybody help me?”
Teddy added: “They didn’t do the right thing.” Sally said: “No. They neglected Pop.”
First hidden — and then removed
Foote says Breen is a perfect example of a veteran who needed an urgent appointment with a primary doctor and who was instead put on the secret waiting list — where he remained hidden.
Foote adds that when veterans waiting on the secret list die, they are simply removed.
“They could just remove you from that list, and there’s no record that you ever came to the VA and presented for care. … It’s pretty sad.”
Foote said that the number of dead veterans who died waiting for care is at least 40.
“That’s correct. The number’s actually higher. … I would say that 40, there’s more than that that I know of, but 40′s probably a good number.”
CNN has obtained e-mails from July 2013 showing that top management, including Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman, was well-aware about the actual wait times, knew about the electronic off-the-books list and even defended its use to her staff.
This video from the USA is called Confirmed: American Citizens Killed By U.S. Drones.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
Update: Thursday 24 Apr 2014 13:43
Metadata provide information about who is calling whom and when. Such information is essential for the Americans says former pilot Brandon Bryant. They are even more important than what exactly was discussed, he said.
Bryant calls it naïve and incorrect to think that such information would not be used. Various political parties in the House asked for guarantees against that last night during a debate with Minister of Defense Hennis.
Minister Hennis claimed during that parliamentary debate that the data were not used. A false claim, according to Bryant.
This video from Britain says about itself:
Sue Townsend contemplates her own mortality
10 April 2014
From a BBC documentary Sue made about death, she talks about her own funeral plans.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
In memoriam: Remembering Sue Townsend
Thursday 24th April 2014
PETER FROST celebrates the political principles of one of Britain’s funniest writers
It is 1969. The young single mum from Leicester was struggling at the bus stop with her three toddlers. Only one, aged five, is old enough to need a ticket and Mum is busy instructing him. “If the conductor asks how old you are, tell him you’re four.”
With just 11 pence in her purse, Mum has enough for her fare into town to join the long fight to collect her dole money, but not the boy’s half fare. When the conductor arrives the lad looks at mum and asks: “Mum, am I four or five?”
That young Leicester mum, eldest of five sisters, left school at 15 destined for dead-end jobs in the town’s hosiery factories, a petrol station or packing fish fingers for Birds Eye.
She married at 18, had three children by the time she was 23. The marriage ended and she became a single parent struggling on benefits.
A dozen or so years on this mum will be a multimillionaire and one of the widest-read authors and best-known playwrights in the world.
But Sue Townsend, who died earlier this month aged 68, would never forget her humble origins nor stop campaigning for those who still struggle to find enough money for the bus fare.
Well-known for her many hugely funny books, this article celebrates the book she first published in 1989 exactly 25 years ago, Mr Bevan’s Dream: Why Britain Needs Its Welfare State.
It is non-fiction, but in a series of personal memories and anecdotes it make a passionate case for what was, and still is, going wrong as Tories, then as now, try to demolish the welfare state.
A quarter of a century ago, Townsend argued that the benefits system was unfair, inefficient and totally unprofessional — which is why millions of people do not claim the benefits to which they are legally entitled. She was still making that argument right up until her death.
Her better-known books, starting with The Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, never hid her radical political views.
We meet Bert the old communist, clearly based on an old comrade Townsend had known in Leicester. Bert sends the young Master Mole to the newsagent to get his newspaper. What else but the Morning Star?
When the boy asks Bert if the Morning Star is a newspaper, Townsend’s politics comes echoing through in Bert’s strident reply.
“Are you backward? The Morning Star is the only newspaper worth reading. The others are owned by capitalist running dog lackeys.”
Through Adrian’s stumbling political awakening we learn all about Thatcher.
“I’m not sure how I will vote. Sometimes I think Mrs Thatcher is a nice kind sort of woman. Then the next day I see her on television and she frightens me rigid. She has got eyes like a psychotic killer, but a voice like a gentle person. It is a bit confusing.”
Other lessons, all woven with incredible humour, include war and peace, the horror of three million unemployed, as well as love, sex, sexuality, militant feminism, writing poetry and even holding your drink.
Adrian’s ultimate lesson is about Labour politicians who betray their class. His beloved Pandora sells out to become an MP and one of “Blair’s babes.” Townsend’s conscience makes sure the even Pandora’s sell-out is not complete — she opposes the Iraq war.
The Adrian Mole books are full of these political messages and lessons, not always politically correct and often told through the actions of Adrian’s mum Pauline, surely a barely disguised Townsend.
Pauline goes to the Greenham women’s peace camp. Adrian almost understands.
“My mother has gone out with Mrs Singh, Mrs O’Leary and her women’s group to have a picnic on Greenham Common.”
“My mother has gone to a woman’s workshop on assertiveness training,” moans Adrian. “She came home and started bossing us around.”
Townsend never hides her staunch republican principles. One Christmas, the old communist Bert tells Adrian’s aunt that the royal family should be made to live on a council estate.
That simple, but useful, idea became a whole book, The Queen And I, where a socialist government throws the royal family out of their palaces and the entire family move to a council estate.
The politics of the Gang of Four and the origins of the SDP and thus the Liberal Democrats gave the author a huge and entertaining new theme.
Pandora’s mother supports the Labour renegades in the SDP, her father loves Tony Benn. Violent arguments ensue and, when Adrian tries to help by posting a draft letter to the local Labour Party, chaos results.
Townsend always described herself as a passionate socialist, atheist and republican. Hating Tony Blair and new Labour, she enthusiastically supported the traditional views and the proud history of the Labour Party but said she had only voted Labour once.
She told reporters she preferred to vote Communist, Socialist Worker or a for one of the minority left parties if she had the chance.
Townsend may have gone, and she will certainly be missed, but Adrian Mole, Pandora Braithwaite and her many other characters and books will last forever. Most of her books are still in print — all, sadly, except Mr Bevan’s Dream.
If you want some not-too-heavy political history of the last half a century as well as a really good laugh you could still do a lot worse than rereading Sue Townsend.