WASHINGTON (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) says he welcomes a White House review of his beleaguered department if it can help ensure veterans have access to timely, quality health care.

Shinseki goes before a Senate committee today to address allegations of treatment delays and preventable deaths at a Phoenix veterans hospital.

Shinseki and other witnesses are expected to speak about assertions that the Phoenix hospital maintained a secret waiting list to hide lengthy delays for sick veterans. A former clinic director says up to 40 veterans may have died while awaiting treatment at the Phoenix facility.

The hearing comes as President Barack Obama has assigned a top White House assistant to work on a review focused on policies for patient safety rules and the scheduling of patient appointments.

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