The problem has been especially dire at the Williams Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. There, veterans waiting months for simple gastrointestinal procedures -- such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy -- have been dying because their cancers aren't caught in time.
The VA has confirmed six deaths at Dorn tied to delays. But sources close to the investigation say the number of veterans dead or dying of cancer because they had to wait too long for diagnosis or treatment at this facility could be more than 20.
"It's very sad, because people died," said Dr. Stephen Lloyd, a private physician specializing in colonoscopies in Columbia.
Lloyd and other physicians across South Carolina's capital city are being affected by the delays at Dorn as veterans seek treatment or diagnoses outside the VA hospital.
Lloyd is one of the few doctors in the area willing to speak on the record about the situation at Dorn.
"(Veterans) paid the ultimate price," he said. "People that had appointments had their appointments canceled and rescheduled much later. ... In some cases, that made an impact where they went into a later stage (of illness) and therefore lost the battle to live."
CNN goes on to report that money appropriated for Dorn was diverted elsewhere by the VA. Dorn currently has a waiting list of 3,800. The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, the VA said three veterans died as a result of delayed care. Internal documents at that facility showed a waiting list of 4,500 patients.
Someone needs to go to jail.