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Lawmakers question Topeka VA staffing

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- State and federal lawmakers want to know what caused a doctor shortage at a veterans hospital in Topeka that has meant patients are being diverted to other hospitals' emergency rooms.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (http://bit.ly/176UPn ) reports that for the last three months, the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center has been deciding in mid-afternoon every day whether the emergency room will have enough staff to handle emergencies overnight. If not, patients are sent to other hospitals.

Jim Gleisberg, a spokesman for the hospital, says the shortage happened because three doctors left at the same time The hospital hopes to be fully staffed by September.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, of Topeka, and two state representatives have expressed concern about the shortages and wondered why the doctors all left at the same time.