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    US Veterans' Hospital Hit With Patient Deaths from Opiate Abuse

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    Two US Veterans have died and a staff member committed suicide at a Veterans Administration hospital in the state of Wisconsin, where opiate prescriptions were so easy to obtain that the facility became known as candy land, according to a report by the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The report noted that two doctors were fired for attempting to report over-prescription of opiate painkillers to the Veterans Administration’s Office of Inspector General.

    "The report presents the findings of the committee’s extensive 16 month long investigation into how the problems that plagued the Tomah VAMC [Veterans Administration Medical Center] were allowed to fester for so long, thereby resulting in multiple tragedies," Committee Chairman Ron Johnson said in a press release accompanying the 359 page document on Tuesday.

    From at least 2007 to 2015, serious problems of over-prescription and abuse of authority existed at the Tomah VAMC, resulting in at least two veterans’ deaths and the suicide of a staff psychologist, the report noted.

    In recent years, the Veterans Administration has been wracked by scandal over doctored records and retaliation against whistleblowers in the agency’s network of hospitals, which hid abuses that reportedly resulted in patient deaths.

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