New Aurora VA hospital won’t serve as many as old hospital

WASHINGTON -- Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday the new hospital being built in Aurora will not be able to serve as many veterans as before.

The revelation came during a House hearing by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs over the hospital, which is $1 billion over budget and years behind schedule.

Rep. Mike Coffman said Tuesday the hospital will finally open in August.

The new Aurora facility will have fewer primary examination rooms, fewer surgical beds, fewer psychiatric beds, no post-traumatic stress disorder exam facility, and fewer Patient Aligned Care Teams, who are medical professionals charged with assisting vets.

All of this is despite the fact the new hospital is double the square footage of the current facility in Denver.

It was also revealed the old Denver VA hospital will have to stay open for three to five years based off estimates by Committee Chairman Phil Roe.

“I am just amazed at the lack of professionalism,” Coffman told VA officials, including Stella Fiotes, the top contracting official at the VA.

“It’s an affront to the taxpayers of the United States,” suggesting the VA secretary should “clean house."

VA officials said the project will never be replicated again and that they share the concerns of the members of Congress.

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