Phoenix VA scandal: Whistleblower Dr. Sam Foote stands by allegations 40 died at Phoenix VA

PHOENIX - Six months after the VA scandal broke in Phoenix the full report is in from the Office of the Inspector General.

And it found no proof veterans died waiting for care.

RELATED: VA says no proof delays in care caused vets to die

A whistleblower, formerly a doctor at the Phoenix VA, claimed 40 veterans died.

The final report issued Tuesday found 28 cases of "significant delays.”

It also found that six veterans died after delayed care.

Still, investigators say there's "no conclusive evidence" that delayed care caused their deaths.

Dr. Sam Foote, who came forward with these allegations, continues to stand by them.

“They said they were ‘unable to conclusively assert that the absence of care caused the deaths.’ And that's a very strange statement. Are they saying they couldn't conclude to a 90 percent certainty, to 100 percent certainty?” Foote said.

Since Dr. Foote came forward with these claims, investigators have combed through nearly one million emails and 190,000 files from the Phoenix VA.

RELATED: Phoenix VA under fire in healthcare scandal

But Dr. Foote questions their findings.

“How can you have a clinically significant delay and not have it affect the outcome? That doesn't make sense,” he said.

Dr. Foote worries some of the information he handed over to investigators was destroyed.

Another whistleblower, Dr. Katherine Mitchell, came forward after Dr. Foote—alleging employees at the VA hid and tried to destroy evidence central to the investigation.

“We gave them the list, a computer printout showing that 22 patients on the EWL had been removed because they had died,” Dr. Foote said.

The report did find delays in care for veterans and poor scheduling practices.

“Our deepest apologies go to the veterans who experienced delays receiving care here at the Phoenix VA,” said interim director of the Phoenix VA Glenn Costie.

In response to the report, the Phoenix VA announced it has taken action on 10 out of 13 recommendations so far.

Those include speeding up hiring more nurses and doctors due to a staffing shortage and re-training schedulers on their appointment system.

“Our goal is to deliver the right care for the right veteran at the right time every time,” Costie said.

Dr. Foote hopes this report isn't the end.

“At least now the VA admits there is a problem, they're allowing veterans to get care on the outside,” he said.

The VA OIG says any potential criminal violations will be presented to federal prosecutors.

Officials are also considering taking disciplinary action against some managers.

Meanwhile a separate FBI investigation continues.

Some families ABC15 spoke with who say they lost loved ones to delayed care are now considering filing lawsuits against the VA.

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