FOX19 Investigates: Cincinnati VA Medical Center under national audit

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - "They didn't seem like they wanted to do anything. They just wanted to push it off," says Charles Oliver, Jr.

He lost his father Charles Oliver Sr. to colon cancer in 2007. It is a condition Oliver says the Cincinnati Veteran Affairs Medical Center claimed his father didn't have.

"They said they had checked him and he was cancer free. The doctor in a nursing home ordered a CT scan at Mercy Fairfield over there and that is where they found he was ate up with colon cancer," said Oliver, Jr.

Just two months after his wife had passed and a few weeks after he began complaining of abdominal pain, Charles Oliver Sr. a WWII veteran, died of colon cancer.

As FOX 19 Investigates found out, he hasn't been the only one who claims to have been misdiagnosed.

"The right hand don't know what the left hand is doing," said Steve Drennan, a Vietnam Veteran.
Drennan says he's been going to the VA hospital in Cincinnati for 15 years but a late diagnosis nearly cost him his life.

"Let me go home for three weeks, passed out, I could have died and the VA hospital let me do it without keeping me there longer, taking more tests or whatever," said Drennan.

According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Cincinnati VA Medical Center has paid out more than $2 million in malpractice claims in the last ten years. We asked the VA for their response to these allegations of malpractice.

They say only $1.6 million has been paid out in lawsuits over the last ten years.

While they say they cannot comment on specific cases, they sent us this statement saying quote:

"Any adverse incident for a veteran within our care is one too many. When an incident occurs in our system we aggressively identify, correct and work to prevent additional risks. We conduct a thorough review to understand what happened, prevent similar incidents in the future, and share lessons learned across the system."

"Just a couple of squeaky wheels doesn't seem to help," said Oliver Jr.

He hopes now with the national spotlight on Veteran Affairs no one else will have to suffer like his father.

"I think it is a good thing. If there is that much under the woodwork there, it needs to be uncovered," said Oliver Jr.

The Cincinnati VA Medical Center tells FOX19 right now they are being audited as part of a national audit happening at all VA hospitals across the country in response to the national scandal. The purpose is to determine in the next several weeks how accessible these hospitals are to veterans and what policies may need to change.

Related: Shineski resigns amid veterans' health care uproar

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