Top US Army doctor out in scandal

March 12, 2007 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

BBC

The US army’s top doctor, Lt Gen Kevin Kiley, has retired in the wake of a scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the flagship US Army hospital.

Gen Kiley becomes the third top-ranking official to lose his job over Walter Reed conditions, which were highlighted last month by the Washington Post.

President Bush has said he is “deeply troubled” after reports of cockroaches and rats in some hospital buildings.

Gen Kiley had filed a “request to retire” on Sunday, the army said.

The army secretary and the medical centre’s head have quit over the reports.

“I submitted my retirement because I think it is in the best interest of the Army,” Gen Kiley, who had overseen the army’s medical services, said in a statement.

“We are an Army Medical Department at war, supporting an Army at war – it shouldn’t be and it isn’t about one doctor,” the statement said.

Gen Kiley is a former commander of Washington’s Walter Reed Army Center.

He has been accused of playing down the reports by the Washington Post and ignoring earlier warnings about sub-standard care at the hospital.

Last week, he told a congressional committee that he was taking responsibility for correcting the problems at America’s top army military facility which he admitted had taken him by surprise.

The suspicion will be though that the man who initially played down the reports of cockroaches, mice and mould in the rooms of wounded war veterans, has been pushed, says the BBC’s James Coomarasamy in Washington.

This was a scandal which would have been a huge embarrassment at any time, but is particularly bad just as the Bush administration is sending more troops into Iraq, our correspondent says.

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