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The Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling to recover from revelations that some of its facilities forced military veterans to wait months for health care and that some VA officials kept bogus records to conceal the delays. Recently appointed VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald — a West Point graduate and former CEO of consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble — has vowed to streamline the vast department into a more effective organization better able to serve the 6.6 million patients who seek its medical services each year. But critics complain the former paratrooper has been too slow to fire those responsible for the scandals, and they worry that his lack of health care and government experience may prevent him from succeeding. Despite its recent problems, the VA has conducted Nobel Prize-level research and — especially over the last two decades — delivered high-quality care to most of its patients.