ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Officials at St. Louis’ John Cochran VA Hospital can expect some tough questions this morning, as Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt meets with them about allegations of inadequate mental health care.

Blunt wants to know if it’s true that mental health patients had to wait a month or more for appointments, and that psychologists were only seeing six patients a day, when they could have been seeing a dozen.

Earlier this month, Dr. Jose Mathews, the former chief of psychiatry at the hospital, came forward with whistleblower claims about lax care at the hospital.

The meeting comes as Blunt is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation with Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow that would bring mental health treatment on par with physical health.

“The Blunt-Stabenow bill would remove the current in-patient day limits for mental health, and then the standard would be the same no matter what your health challenge was, whether it was mental health or other kinds of health concerns,” Blunt says.

Blunt and Stabenow also wrote a new law that’s designed to expand veteran access to community mental health services.

Blunt started his tour in Hannibal. He’ll also be meeting with mental health officials in Cape Girardeau, Springfield, Joplin, Kirksville, Columbia and Kansas City.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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