The Department of Veterans Affairs is significantly increasing its referrals of veterans to private doctors following a scandal over lengthy patient waiting times at many VA hospitals and clinics and falsified appointment records, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Wednesday. McDonald spoke to a few hundred people at the American Veterans national convention. He is scheduled to visit the city's VA hospital on Thursday. The VA has been shaken by reports that some veterans died while waiting for treatment. Some workers have been accused of covering up scheduling problems. The scandal led to the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and last month's appointment of McDonald.