The top official at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs indicated that the agency should not use the time that veterans wait for medical care as a metric of success because Disney does not measure wait times for theme park rides.
The Washington Examiner first reported that VA Secretary Robert McDonald made the comments during a breakfast meeting with journalists on Monday, more than two years after the agency faced national scrutiny when staffers were found concealing veterans’ wait times using secret lists.
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said during the Christian Science Monitor event on Monday. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
McDonald was tapped by President Obama to lead the agency after Eric Shinseki resigned from his post as VA secretary following the wait list scandal in 2014. Dozens of veterans are believed to have died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA hospital system, from where the secret wait lists first emerged.